Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Fluctuating hormone levels and physical changes to the body can contribute to the highs and lows of pregnancy for most women. Regardless of who you are or what size you were when you got pregnant, there will come a time during your pregnancy where you just feel like you need a little pick-me-up.
Personally, I been lucky with both pregnancies as far as my health and the health of my baby goes. However, this time around I have dealt with a few more emotional issues than I did the first time around. I can probably contribute this to being more nauseous, having to take artificial hormones for the first 8 weeks, and being way more exhausted this time around. All-in-all I can’t complain, but I did want to let you as the reader in on what has personally worked for me to help me overcome these things. If you are pregnant, try out some of these tips and let me know if they work for you!
1.) TIPS FOR DEALING WITH NAUSEA/VOMITING
Like I mentioned above, nausea and/or vomiting can be an enormous obstacle for you to overcome as an expecting mother. What I have found to work is cold, almost frozen beverages. Water is extremely important during pregnancy – especially your first trimester so I would put Crystal Light Pure (sweetened with Stevia aka considered safe during pregnancy) in my glass of ice water. This allowed me to get enough fluids during the crucial first trimester.
Eat small snacks throughout the day but try to make them as healthy as possible. Try saltine crackers, fresh fruit smoothies (I use Shakeology), and cold fruit. It is extremely important during your first trimester to eat healthy because of the crucial development of baby. Your baby during this time is forming his/her organs and systems that will eventually turn into a fully functional human being. What you put into your body plays an enormous role. Each time that I have been pregnant, I have felt like I could have done more to eat healthy during the first trimester. I am always paranoid that something will be wrong with baby because of my “not-so-perfect” food choices due to being sick. Proteins are KEY. Do whatever it takes to eat healthy meals and snacks – especially during the first trimester!
Be active outside. When nausea hit me like a freight train, all I wanted to do was get some fresh air outside. I would go on a jog or a walk and believe it or not, this did wonders.
2) FIGHTING FATIGUE
Fatigue is a HUGE part of why some women cut out their workouts and give up on making themselves presentable during pregnancy. Do not let this ruin you! On the days that I found myself almost too exhausted for even breathing, I would get my booty up and workout for 30 minutes. I go on runs, lift light to medium weights, and do squats and lunges. I promise you, this helps every time. The couch may still be calling your name at 8:00 pm instead of your usual 10:30, but at least you feel better and more alert while the sun is still shining!
During the second trimester, a full belly from eating a meal will make me overly exhausted in an instant. I have found to prevent this, eat several small meals throughout the day instead of large meals. This will help leave some blood elsewhere instead of running to your organs to aide in digestion!
3) TIPS FOR FEELING YOUR BEST WHILE GAINING WEIGHT
This is huge and can truly affect how you feel no matter what size you started out at. During pregnancy, you are guaranteed to see at least a 15 lb. gain on the scale – that’s just part of it. You will see your breasts enlarge, your stomach begin to look like you at a basketball (or beach ball lol), your hips widen, and most likely you will begin to notice your arms and legs become softer in appearance. This is when many woman can truly begin to feel insecure and down about their appearance. I have actually struggled more with the physical changes in my body this time around than I did with my first child. I don’t know what the reasoning is because I’m actually in better shape this time around, but insecurity creeps up quickly these days. Those who know me know that I am in no way an insecure person, so for my physical appearance to get me down so quickly is considered odd in my case.
Quick and embarrassing story… Most of you that follow along know that my husband and I do the Beachbody workouts. Well, he has recently started a 90 day workout called Body Beast. He and I were talking about this workout and how I can’t wait to do more challenging/intense workouts again. Michael then began to tell me about how he was thinking about doing one of Tony Horton and Autumn Calabrese’s workouts after he was finished with Body Beast. This sounds ridiculous, but I immediately thought about how in shape Autumn is and how pretty she is and I IMMEDIATELY broke down in tears! Haha y’all that is so NOT me on a regular basis. I am usually extremely confident and don’t let silly, shallow things like this get to me! This just goes to show you how low that some of my “lows” have been. Don’t get me wrong, there are countless times where I feel absolutely beautiful with my new pregnant body, but thanks to hormones most likely, there are times where I am slightly more insecure about it than I used to be.
What I always try to remind myself is that I am carrying a little miracle – an actual human being that God entrusted me with. When I remember this fact, I also remember that I must do everything in my power to create a healthy environment for this human being to grow. That environment is my body. Stress and unhealthy thinking don’t make for a healthy environment and that is usually all it takes for me to snap out of it.
To feel the best about your physical appearance while pregnant, simply take care of yourself. Choose healthy options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It’s ok to have some comfort food every once in a while. Afterall, you have earned it mama! Workout your body. Physically, this is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby. Women who workout are shown to have healthier pregnancies. Their babies are healthier, and they are able to bounce back more quickly after giving birth.
4) GET UP AND GET DRESSED!
This will do wonders for you as a pregnant woman! Pregnancy is not the time to let yourself go. This is probably the most important 9 months of your life! Get yourself together and look great while enjoying it!
During pregnancy it is so easy to let yourself go because you are tired, you don’t feel your best, your muscles and joints ache, your gaining weight, and the list goes on. I like to make sure I get up and put at least a little bit of make up on, do something cute (but quick) with my hair, put a smile on my face, and walk around town with confidence! Doing this wakes me up and helps me feel like I am still beautiful even though I ache all over and I have put on 10 lbs. If you are married or in a relationship, this is especially important because after all, you have a significant other that you should still “try” for every single day of your life. This is something that you should do regardless if you are pregnant or not! You have a partner, you love them, you want them to think you are beautiful… act like you care about your appearance for them! This will make you feel amazing in return, and the compliments from your partner are pretty awesome too! I’m not saying curl your hair and look like Barbie everyday. Nobody has time for that on an everyday basis. There are many days where I am wearing workout clothes but I at least put some foundation, blush, lip gloss, and mascara on. I also brush my hair and put it up in a cute ponytail! My husband actually prefers this 9 times out of 10 anyway! Just do it. This will automatically help you feel like you went from a 3 to a 10 in 20 minutes.
5) EAT AS CLEAN AND HEALTHY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN
This tip is crucial for both you and your baby. Think about it this way… You are growing a human being in your body, right? What do you think that human being is being formed from? God didn’t just put all of the right nutrients in your body to form that baby, he entrusted you to take it from there. My point is, your baby’s body is basically being formed from what you put into your own. Yes, the baby will draw from the good nutrients as much as they can, but you should make it much easy on them by putting healthy foods and liquids into your body throughout your entire pregnancy.
I understand cravings. During this pregnancy, I have craved key lime pie (and I’ve had my fair share), PB & J sandwiches, and Cheez-Its like it’s my job. I have definitely indulged in these things probably more than I should, but I also make sure that I take in way more healthy options than junk because I want my baby to be as healthy as he can be. Too many women take this time to eat as much as they want, whatever they want, when they want it and I think it’s because they think, “Oh what the heck. I’m already gaining weight faster than I ever have before in my life. I’ll just lose it after the baby is born.” That thinking is wrong. Do you know why? It’s wrong because they are excluding the baby’s health from this way of thinking. Now is not the time to eat whatever you want. Now is actually the time to eat healthier than you ever have for your baby’s sake.
I like to choose options like raw veggies, steamed veggies, raw fruit, eggs, Greek yogurt, organic chicken, beans, rice, whole wheat pasta, etc…. Just to name a few. I try to stay away from consuming pre-packaged items as much as I can.
6) MAKE TIME FOR YOU
It is so important during pregnancy to remove as much stress as possible! If something is stressing you out, cut it out and do something for YOU. One of the greatest ways to do this is to take time each day to enjoy something you love. For me, these things include: going on a date with my husband, having a lunch date with MB, blogging, playing around with hair and makeup, jogging, going to the beach, or watching a marathon I love such as The Walking Dead! Just do SOMETHING that makes you happy. The baby will be happier and so will you. After all, you do deserve it.
You guys are probably sick of hearing me talk about working out all of the time, but this is so important during pregnancy. The old way of thinking is to not overdo it physically. In fact, my poor parents are forever worried that I’m working out too much! I have spoken to my doctor in depth about fitness and working out and I am cleared to continue on as long as I’m gaining weight appropriately and baby is healthy. So, I workout 6 – 7 days/ week about 25 minutes per day and doing this has literally gotten me through this pregnancy with a smile on my face. Here are a few reasons why:
- The endorphin rush has actually been greater for me during pregnancy than when I’m not.
- This immediately puts me in a good mood.
- Exhaustion is decreased significantly.
- I’m probably one of the only pregnant women not suffering from constipation at all.
- My weight gain is right on track. (This wouldn’t be the case in a sedentary pregnant woman.)
- I have less aches and pains.
- My vitals have been perfect.
- I’m more likely to birth a baby with less body fat. (We all love chunky babies, but in terms of health, babies born with less body fat are healthier.)
- Birthing my baby will most likely be easier for me.
- I will most likely be able to avoid a C-section.
… and the list goes on and on.
I began to get extremely long-winded as usual, so I actually had to go back and delete about 50% of what I typed! I hope that this reaches someone who is in need of a little “boost” during their pregnancy when it comes to feeling great and being able to enjoy the pregnancy. Pregnancy is such a special time and I feel like each woman should be able to enjoy everything it has to offer! If you or someone you know has any questions about any of the information above or simply wants to chat about their own experience, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org