The number one question I hear since I’ve announced the upcoming arrival of Itsy Bitsy Parker is, “How are you feeling?” Well, the answer is “gggrrreeeaaat!”
Pre-pregnancy, I tried to keep a very active lifestyle by working out 4-6 days a week and I feel like the fact that I stayed active has something to do with how good I feel now. It’s always been something my husband and I have enjoyed doing together so when I found out I was expecting, I was determined not to give up that lifestyle.
Even before I went to see my doctor for my first prenatal appointment, I had done quite a bit of reading on what types of activities during pregnancy are safe and which ones aren’t. With that, I continued my workouts but made sure to not over-exert myself like I sometimes had before. For instance, during my circuit weight routine I lowered my weight to ensure I wasn’t straining. My husband and I typically run between 7 and 10 miles each week and because I was engaged in this activity pre-pregnancy, everything I’ve read said that I could keep doing it.
So, at 8 weeks I saw my doctor and asked him, “what physical activities do I need to avoid?” and he said “nothing, as long as your heart rate stays below 150 bmp.” I inquired a bit more about the heart rate limit and as I understand it, when your heart rate gets above the 150 bmp mark, your body is obviously working hard and requires more oxygen, which in this case, goes to your working body rather than your baby. Needless to say, I now wear a heart rate monitor and have had to reduce the intensity of my workouts a bit (especially in this excruciating Texas heat) but the good news is, I haven’t had to stop them.
My choice to stay active also stems from all of the benefits I might see as a result of it. First for me is the more active I am during pregnancy, the easier I think it will be to get back into it after IBP is born. [Side note: I’m a bridesmaid in a very good friend’s wedding on May 1st and I’m determined to be back to my normal self by then!] In addition, they say that a strong in-shape body eases labor, speeds recovery and minimizes pregnancy-related pains. I’m all for that!!!
Contrary to the traditional pregnancy advice of previous generations, staying fit during pregnancy really only has its benefits and at the end of it all hopefully it will help me to stay fit once I become a parent too.