By: Erin Holtz
After going through a normal and healthy pregnancy I can now look back and be thankful for all the things I did to maintain a normal, fit, and healthy lifestyle during my pregnancy. Here are 5 lessons I learned that I would like to share with all pregnant women.
1. Stay active and strong…
Going through labor I realized that I was able to maintain my strength by walking the halls, squatting, and stretching in order to progress further along until I delivered. This was all because I walked, jogged, and did weights throughout my pregnancy. This to me was the most important thing I could have done to help me through my labor and delivery. As long as your doctor allows you and you have been exercising before your pregnancy maintain a fit routine daily!
2. Listen to your body
During my pregnancy I continued to workout up until the day I had my baby because I felt great. I know there are days when I did not feel so great and had to take it easy but that is why it is important first off to listen to your body. This was one thing I learned early on. Morning sickness and fatigue is no joke but each day is different so therefore if you are unable to exercise or walk one day maybe you will feel up to it the next day. I had to stop running at 32 weeks due to contractions but I felt like if I would have continued to run despite my body telling me not to my baby could have been born too soon and that comes with a lot of complications.
3. A healthy diet = a healthy baby
Maintaining a healthy diet ensures that you and your baby are getting the right nutrients as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Trust me the more weight you gain during your pregnancy the more weight you have to lose afterward. I lost my belly within the first 2 weeks post delivery and now I am just in need of toning everything back up. It is a huge compliment when some one asks how old my baby is and I tell them 2 weeks old and they look at me and say there is no way you had a baby 2 weeks ago. That is all due to maintaining a healthy diet even though it was hard at times.
4. Keep an open mind
Going into the hospital with an open mind is the most important thing when you are about to go into a huge life experience such as child birth. Your body and your baby know exactly what they can handle! I had my mind made up that I wanted to try and go all natural during delivery and I almost made it.. but things happened and my baby was bigger than expected so therefore I had to have help from an epidural. I went into this with an open mind and worked hard to go natural but in the end my body was telling me that I needed a little help with getting a bigger baby out of my small pelvis. I ended up with an epidural but the labor and delivery process could not have gone better. I delivered a very healthy baby and had an easy labor and delivery due to the epidural. Looking back I am very thankful that I chose to have an open mind and be flexible. Nothing goes as planned when delivering a baby and it is not the time to be upset, overwhelmed, or putting yourself through more stress.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
Watching how much you gain during your pregnancy will benefit you in the end. Again the more extra weight you put on now from not exercising and eating right the more you will have to lose. That is not to say that you shouldn’t put on weight, your baby needs extra fluid, fat, and blood to grow and mature but there is a healthy way of doing that. Your doctor will tell you an ideal amount of weight that you should put on and I would recommend sticking to that recommendation. You will certainly not fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes right away but it helps your self-esteem when you are dropping weight and starting to fit back into some things a few weeks after you deliver.
I found that since I did exercise and eat healthy during my pregnancy I am recovering faster, losing weight quicker, and feeling like myself again already at 3 weeks post delivery. This is all due to listening to my body, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program, and having a positive open mind set about pregnancy and childbirth.
Erin Holtz, ATC, ACE-CPT
Erin Holtz is a personal trainer as well as an Athletic Trainer with a degree from The University of Alabama. She holds personal training certification from American Council on Exercise as well as an instructor certification to teach CPR, First Aid, and AED for the infant, child, and adult. After moving to Birmingham, AL following graduation she started working full-time as an athletic trainer and part-time as a personal trainer where she began to realize her passion was not only in the athletic field, but also for helping the general public achieve their life and fitness goals. She now works one-on-one with her clients helping them focus on cardiovascular endurance, plyometrics, core development, rehabilitation, pre- and pos-termt pregnancy, strength, and weight loss. Erin recently joined the HomeFit team and is eager to help you achieve your goals in the comfort of your own home. For more information on Erin and the rest of the HomeFit team, visit www.homefitconsulting.