Working out, staying healthy, feeling your best, are all things we love, so I was thrilled when holistic health coach, Pilates & Barre instructor and new mama-to-be, Meagan Fitzgerald, shared with us some great tips on navigating health and fitness through her pregnancy:
As a fitness instructor, I am very active, and while I feel great now at 37 weeks pregnant, that wasn’t always the case! A major part of my job is to motivate students. Whether it’s a one-on-one client or a room full of 70 people it takes lots of energy! Any woman is sure to feel a change in energy while pregnant and whether you’re at a desk job or maybe a full-time mom of another little one, you are sure to feel the effects of hormonal changes, increased weight and trouble sleeping.
I am far from an expert on the topic, but here are some tips that have helped me have a healthy and happy pregnancy:
1: Fuel your body with real food! In the beginning it can be especially difficult to find foods that sound appetizing, but if you can stay close to a real/whole food diet, I promise it will pay off. Are you craving sweets? Have oatmeal with fruit and cinnamon. Maybe toast with almond butter and jam would do the trick too. Need more savory options? Eggs with avocado toast would be filling and packed with nutrients. Can’t eat anything (that was me until 20 weeks)?!? Maybe some organic popcorn would help? Think whole foods…real foods, as much as possible.
2: Remember a craving is still a craving. This might sound harsh but as a Holistic Health Coach, I don’t believe pregnancy is a free pass to eat whatever you want. Just because you are craving a jelly donut (as I did for about 6 months straight!), doesn’t mean you should eat the donut. Unless you’re craving something that is going to fuel your body and the growth of your baby, try to skip it. Of course if you want to have dessert after dinner, go for it and enjoy it. A couple squares of dark chocolate will satisfy any sweet craving and it’s full of antioxidants so it’s good for you! Don’t deprive yourself, but also be mindful about what you’re putting into your body. Want pizza for dinner? Ok, have a slice or two with veggies and add a salad. Easy-peasy! Extra sugar, fatty fried foods and large heavy meals will still make you feel like crap just like they did pre-pregnancy.
3. Treat your self! If budget allows, invest in a good body scrub, moisturizer and maybe some cream for your belly to help your skin stay hydrated and prevent stretch marks. This is my all-time favorite body scrub from Beautycounter. Full disclosure: I am a consultant for Beautycounter, BUT I truly believe in this mission and love the product! A good body scrub will get rid of dead skin, making your “pregnancy glow” even brighter, plus increase circulation and help with swelling. Use a thick moisturize that smells good and feels great on your skin. We spend most of the day uncomfortable for a million different reasons, here’s one way to relax and do something good for yourself!
4: It’s safe to workout, in fact it’s GOOD for you! A number of women have told me they didn’t workout once while pregnant, and sometimes, used it as an excuse to skip it all together. If you are having a healthy pregnancy and feel up to it then please stay active! Not only will this help your body recover after baby, but it will help you feel more like yourself. No, you cannot do all the same exercises you did before, but safely raising your heart-rate, breaking a sweat and keeping toned arms, legs and booty is great for you mentally, and of course physically. Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight is helpful in preventing many complications, can aid in delivery and will help you bounce back once your little babe has arrived.
5: SLEEP! This is the hardest one for me. I’ve always been a bad sleeper, but once I got pregnant, forget it. Between feeling nauseous, uncomfortable, anxious, the five trips to the bathroom per night, I found it impossible to fall and stay asleep. I told a good friend about this and she sent me my new best friend…the Snoogle! This weird worm shaped pillow helped me find a comfortable position, stay in it and actually fall asleep! Find a solution that works for you, even if it takes up half the bed, your partner will hopefully understand.
6. Massage, Acupuncture, Mani, Pedi! Again, if your budget allows, I highly recommend taking the time to get a prenatal massage to ease those aching muscles and acupuncture to help with everything from nausea, to sleep, to indigestion and energy. A mani/pedi is a great way to sneak in a quick, relaxing massage, plus painted nails look pretty, so it’s a win/win! Even better if you can stick to a non-toxic brand like Zoya or RGB.
Wishing you a healthy pregnancy and sending lots of love as you go through this amazing time in your life!