I don’t know about you, but when I was pregnant, I was constantly looking for ways to gain as little weight as safely possible, be in good shape, and make sure my postpartum bounce-back was quick.
When I got pregnant with my first child, I really didn’t know what to expect. I heard many firsthand stories of women who gained 50 and even 100 pounds during pregnancy! That shocked me and I was very determined that that would not be my story.
So I dedicated myself to working out daily. I had just finished college volleyball a few months prior, so I had pretty good discipline with working out. I even ran all the way into my 7th month (not that I would ever recommend doing that, by the way)! My hard work and dedication paid off, as I did not get a single stretch mark and my body carried the baby well. I also bounced back and quickly returned to my pre-pregnancy size.
By the time I was pregnant with my second child, however, I was not able to keep up with working out as much as I would have liked. Often, I was just way too tired by the time my hubby got home from work! But I did something during this pregnancy that made all the difference in the world: I changed my diet. I read this book and I was so inspired to eat real, wholesome food that I revamped my whole diet overnight.
It was hugely impactful! I began to see a difference in the matter of weeks. I dropped several inches (yes, while pregnant!), increased my energy level, and just generally felt really, really good.
During my third and fourth pregnancies, I ramped it up another notch and started taking some of the highest quality supplements on the market. I was taking a raw, whole food multivitamin, raw probiotics, raw greens, and a high-quality omega. I even substituted the omega for cod liver oil during my 4th pregnancy after learning its benefits for the baby.
I can’t tell you how many times I was complimented during my pregnancies. “How are you able to coach while pregnant? How are you able to homeschool while pregnant? How are you able to do it?” were questions I constantly heard. And I attribute it to the grace of God and to the following 8 tips that I want to share with you.
I know you care about the health of your baby and your own body, so get ready for a fit and energized pregnancy!
1. Drink lots of water
This may seem obvious, so let me say it how I really mean it: drink lots of water as opposed to sodas, juices, and other sugary drinks. And add some lemon to your water for extra health benefits!
During the third trimesters of all my pregnancies, I would guzzle what felt like a gallon of water a day. Seriously. And I would also throw in some unsweetened tea every once in a while. I purposely stayed away from sugary drinks because at the rate you’re drinking fluids, drinking a lot of sugar is like drinking extra pounds. And that’s not what you want!
If you weren’t a huge water drinker before your pregnancy, I suggest you train yourself to be. It’s for your benefit and the benefit of your baby. And if you already drink lots of water, kudos to you! Keep it up!
Tip: Invest in a nice water bottle. Take it with you wherever you go.
2. Limit bread/sugar and up veggie intake
I would suggest doing this anyway, even if you weren’t pregnant. White sugar and white flour have been linked to so many diseases nowadays that it’s not worth the risk. Besides this, these two things alone really expand your waistline! And I say this with compassion because I love me some fresh baked bread. But the reality is the reality…it will pack on inches.
What do I recommend eating instead? Whole grain or whole wheat breads, or even yet, sprouted bread. You can also try using stevia or a sweetener like Truvia to sweeten things. Pure maple syrup and raw honey are also good and they have great health benefits!
Tip: Purchase fresh fruits and veggies. Cut them up and store them in the fridge in baggies for quick on-the-go snacks.
3. Take quality supplements
As I previously mentioned, you’re going to want to make sure you are taking some quality supplements. There’s a lot of research supporting the fact that we don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from our daily diets-but more details about that later. 🙂
I know the list I mentioned earlier is an extensive one. But I honestly would not recommend them if I didn’t believe in them and personally know how they can change your whole day. I’ve even recommended these supplements to other friends of mine without getting paid for it, and as expected, they have loved them just as much as I have!
Tip: If you can’t get all the vitamins, then here is how I would personally rank them in order of importance: multivitamin, probiotic, greens, omega (or cod liver oil). Also, you can use my link at Ebates and get $10 for placing your first order.
4. Use a pregnancy support band
I coached volleyball during my last two pregnancies and my pregnancy band was my best friend. It helped support my stomach and, in turn, helped me move around easier.
People always wanted to know how in the world I still coached the day before I gave birth (3rd pregnancy). Part of it was the fact that I did my best to workout as much as I could. The other part of it was that I wore my band every time I coached (and even when I didn’t). I was still giving private volleyball lessons at 36 weeks! Not that I would necessarily recommend doing that either. But I needed support for my large stomach, and the band provided it.
I also have a friend who uses this band and loves it. She said that it provided her immediate back support. It’s durable, discreet, and also ranked #1 in pregnancy belts!
Tip: wear your band when you go walking for added support.
5. Workout as much as possible
During your pregnancy, there’s gonna be a time when you don’t want to workout, and that’s totally fine! I’m not for pushing my body past its limits, especially when pregnant. However, I will say that there were times during my pregnancy that I knew I should go walking but didn’t feel like it. So I would just put on my workout clothes, tie my shoes, and walk out the door. And it never failed…once I made myself start going, I was able to have a good, solid walk.
It’s my personal belief that staying in shape during your pregnancy really helps your body recover a lot more quickly after the birth. I also think it helps you to have the stamina you need during labor (and boy do you need stamina).
If you’re not a walker, there are still lots of things you can do. There are some pregnancy workout videos on Youtube that you can do in your living room. Feeling motivated? You can do pilates to really get yourself strong and lean.
Tip: Start Pilates in your first trimester. You’ll thank yourself in your third. 🙂
6. Don’t eat after a certain time of night
This is what hands-down kept me from gaining unnecessary weight during my third pregnancy. I didn’t do so great at this in my fourth and gained more than I did before, which is why I have this tip on my list!
I wouldn’t let myself eat past 7pm. This was challenging at first, because I can tend to be a late night snacker. However, after a while all the extra calories really add up…and start to appear in unwanted places on your body!
If you do this, just make sure you are getting plenty of food throughout the day and meeting your nutritional requirements.
Tip: If you get so hungry you want to hurt someone, eat a cheese stick, a piece of fruit, or some veggies. You can also try drinking some warm tea with milk or almond milk. 🙂
7. Get plenty of sleep!
Not that you have to really make yourself do this, because pregnancy has a way of knocking you out! But seriously, I highly recommend scheduling in a nap time for yourself if you can. You need it! A whole human is growing inside your body!
To ensure you get enough sleep, it would be wise to set a bedtime during your pregnancy, especially if you don’t already have one. This is something I got better at during my 4th pregnancy, purely because I had to. But making sure you are resting enough will help you have the energy you need to make it through the next day. So instead of staying up late, delegate your chores and catch some z’s!
Tip: If you have other kiddos home during the day, let them watch tv for a bit so you can sleep. I give you permission 🙂
8. Add a little boost to your day
I really, really like coffee. Probably more than I should. But during pregnancy I was limited as to how much coffee I could drink, and to be honest, I didn’t want to be reliant on caffeine as a source of energy.
I started taking them and I could tell a difference after the first packet. I loved the fact that they were safely designed for pregnant mommies. And they tasted awesome! They provided an extra boost of energy and a fun middle of the day treat.
Tip: Take supplements in the morning and the energy drink in the afternoon. It’s a good little boost of sustained energy for the rest of your day!
I hope these tips help you have the healthy and fit pregnancy you desire. If you try any of them, comment below and let me know how they’ve helped you!