Fit Momma Monday: Pre & Post Natal Fit Tips

As we always say, we are not doctors or medical experts so please consult your own physician. These tips are based on our own experiences and conversations with our own OBGYNs! 

Pre-natal

You are growing a human!  Not only do you need to consider your own health and happiness, but now you’re responsible for another life.  Our doctors encouraged us to be as fit and active as our bodies felt comfortable.  We – Christine & Teresa – continued to run and yoga through out most of the first two trimesters, then modified more in the third trimester (run/walking, walking and slow flow/pre-natal yoga).

Five things to keep in mind if you want to stay active during pregnancy…

  1. Hydrate! You can’t give your body enough water, juice, etc.  This is good practice for post-baby if you plan to nurse.
  2. Don’t overheat.  We chose to take a break from things like speed work and hot yoga, since you don’t want your internal body temp to rise too high during pregnancy.
  3. Keep doing what you’re doing… but perhaps modify.  Since we were runners pre-pregnancy, our doctors were happy to see that we continued to run.  We did choose to slow down our pace and distance, as our bellies expanded.
  4. Listen to your body… and your doctor.  If it hurts, stop.  Its not worth it.
  5. Clean eating & vitamins – the better you eat, the less weight you’ll gain and the better nourishment you’re giving your little babe.  Not saying you can’t indulge in some Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream now and then, just in moderation. 🙂

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Ten FIT-related things to buy or register for…

  1. Maternity workout apparel – moisture wicking, of course.  Staples include leggings and tanks, but go as crazy as your budget allows.  Most of mine came from Destination Maternity and ForTwoFitness (online), although I’ve heard Old Navy has a cost-effective line as well.
  2. Supportive sports bras.  Yes, this is technically apparel as listed in #1, but important enough to have its own spot.  If you plan to nurse, consider a nursing sports bra.  Or you can just use regular ones and go up a size (or two).  If you plan to nurse, your size WILL increase!  I went up two cup sizes!
  3. Motivation gadget(s) – if you don’t already own them, toys like Garmins, FitBits, etc may give you the extra motivation to ‘move’ when all you really want to do is sit on the couch and prop up your feet.  Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 4.41.44 PM
  4. Water bottle(s) and fuel belt – you should be hydrating as often as you can, before during and after runsHelium_H2O_0408
  5. Jogging stroller (and other components; carrier, carrier piece, ‘bundle me’ if going out in cold weather, rain guard, etc).  We lucked out and got the BOB as a baby shower gift, but other brands probably work fine and don’t have the high end price tag.  One tip – if you plan to RUN, get a fixed front wheel.  A pain to turn, but much safer for baby when your pace picks up!
  6. Front Baby Carrier – for when you want to take a stroll and “wear’ baby to keep them close – we like the Baby Bjourn, but also heard good things about the Moby and K’tan
  7. Sleeping contraptions.  The more sleep baby gets, the more sleep you get and the more fit & active you can be! Consider the Rock N Play, swaddles, sound machine for the house, white noise apps for your phone & LOTS of binkies.
  8. Pre-natals – you’ll continue to take these after baby comes if you are nursing.VF_bottles_0000s_0017_PreNatal
  9. Belly band – if you plan to continue running into late second or early third trimester, this provides some additional support to lower belly and pelvic area
  10. Race registrations – why not do a race sporting that adorable belly!  Inspire those around you and get some great photo memories. 🙂

*Our run this past Saturday consisted of several moms, including two nursing mommas & a momma-to-be, sweating for two!

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Post-natal  

If you are NOT nursing, you can skip this read and probably go back to your pre-baby fitness & diet routine (after doctor clears you of course).  I nursed both babies so milk supply was a big issue for me.  Personally I wanted to get back to running as soon as possible [and lose some baby weight], but the sweatier I got, the more I would notice a drop in my milk supply.  Keep these tips in mind for boosting/maintaining your supply;

Five tips for boosting your milk supply…

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  This is the most important tip I can share. Water, juice, decaf/non-carbonated beverages.  You know the drill.  Drink up!
  2. Be careful with weight loss – Wait at least three or more weeks and don’t lose more than one pound per week.  According to various studies including this one from Weight Watchers, “A safe rate of weight loss for nursing mothers is an average of one pound per week after the first three weeks. Losing more weight may compromise your milk production and good health.”  
  3. Don’t cut too many calories – most research states you need 300-500 extra calories if you are nursing (and maybe more if you start to exercise).  You will probably need closer to that 500 mark if you are exercising.  Just make sure you try to incorporate nutrient dense foods, not a bag of mini Cadbury eggs (oops!)
  4. Consider your diet – certain foods are known to help boost supply, including oats, flax, even the barley in a beer (stop at one!)  We hope to do future posts and recipes related to this topic, visit our Pre & Post Natal Fitness page for more info.
  5. Supplements including FenuGreek, Thisle and prescribed medication, Reglan, have been proven to help boost supply.  Consult with your doctor if tips #1-4 aren’t giving you the supply you want to see.

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Sneak oats into granola… 

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or homemade lactation cookies! 

 

And lastly, a few more tips for FIT mommas that are nursing… 

  • DON’T concern yourself with weight loss for the first few weeks.  Heck, maybe even the first few months. Focus on getting healthy, getting rest, establishing your supply if nursing, and snuggling that little one.  Give your body time to adjust!
  • Try to do any high intensity workouts right after pumping or nursing… then try not to nurse for a bit  (60-90 minutes) following your workout.  Some studies show that lactic acid can build up (if you worked out to the point of exhaustion, aka red lined it!) and may give baby a sour taste. The milk is still perfectly safe and my babies didn’t seem to notice.
  • Keep in mind that every woman, every pregnancy and every nursing momma is different.  Some may lose weight quickly, while others may not.  My body clung to the last 5-10 pounds the entire year I was nursing baby #1 and it finally tapered off after weaning.  Dr Sears states, “Nutritionists believe that one reason your body stores extra fat during pregnancy {& nursing} is to ensure that you have enough energy from fat to make milk for your baby.”  With baby #2, I plan to focus on nursing for the first 6+ months, even if it means holding onto a little extra weight, and see what happens after that.  As I teach my business students, sometimes there is an opportunity cost involved in life choices!

–>  Click HERE for Teresa’s personal weight loss journey following baby #1  <–

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Baby #2 – 32 weeks

Additional articles, blog posts and resources… 

 

Photo credits: Fuelbelt.com, GummyVites.com, #LivingFitColumbus   

 

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