5 Tips to a Fit Pregnancy

Hi, I'm Katey! For me, my family always comes first and I know that I am a better wife and mother when I take the time to care for myself by establishing healthy habits. But being pregnant can be a challenge: especially with two other little ones running around. I'm currently  pregnant with my third baby and I've discovered wonderful truths along the way that I wish someone had shared with me during my first two pregnancies. My goal is to reach and help other women (pregnant or otherwise) live up to their potential. 

Right now, I still workout 4-6 times each week. When people see me during my workout sessions at the gym or walking around in my "Sweating For Two" shirt, I get the same question: "You can do that while your pregnant?"

Yes, I can! And I am so grateful that I do!

I can feel and see the difference between my first pregnancy and my third. During my first pregnancy, I was overweight, unhealthy and tired all the time. I had high blood pressure, gained too much weight and my daughter came early because my amniotic fluid was low. As I have established better habits, my pregnancies have improved immensely! I'm now a fitness instructor and health coach. So, my second pregnancy was completely void of those complications and I didn't gain as much weight. My third pregnancy has been even better even though I'm running around after two little girls. 

Apparently, there is a rumor going around saying that pregnancy is a time when you take a 9-month+ break. While some women may find this necessary due to pregnancy complications or conditions, most of us can enjoy a healthy, fit pregnancy. Current research actually supports this! I firmly believe that having healthy habits can help your body when you are trying to conceive, pregnant and after the baby is here. If you aren't sure about activity levels during pregnancy, please consult your doctor. 

There are LOADS of amazing workouts available for expectant mothers.

  • Indoor Cycling
  • Weight lifting
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Elliptical 

If you love being active and working out, you should keep going! Take the right steps during these crucial months. 

Here are my Top 5 FITNESS tips for your growing baby bump:

  1. Fitness Maintenance
    • This is a time to maintain any progress or skills that you have previously worked up to. Now is NOT the time to try new types of exercise programs. 
    • If your body felt happy and comfortable during certain types of exercise BEFORE your pregnancy, this is a chance stick with those exercises.
    • For me, I've been teaching certain kinds of exercise classes for years. But when I found out that I was pregnant with my third, I had just received my certification for a High-Intensity Interval Class format. After consulting my doctor, I decided to stop teaching that class right away and stick with my current routine. 
  2. Adjust where you can (and should)
    • There are certain exercises that pregnant women can do for several months. But eventually, you need to change your approach. 
    • I love Indoor Cycling classes. But I've found around 27 weeks, my belly starts pulling my back forward. I adjust my bike set-up so I can alleviate the pressure in my back. When I do that, I can keep pedalling (and sweating) for several more weeks. 
    • I also love swimming. But the wardrobe for such exercise should be considered once you start growing. I like to have a sport bikini and put a maternity tankini top over it. That way, I'm supported but no one is subject to seeing my belly. If you feel comfortable in just a sport bikini, go for it!
  3. Pregnancy g-LOW! 
    • Some women can do High Impact Exercises throughout their entire pregnancy. If you are one of those women, power to you! Don't worry. Your baby won't get shaken up. For the rest of us, you can still get a great workout without the BOUNCE. 
    • Personally, I gradually ease off of impact (and sometimes intensity) as I progress through my pregnancies. My 10 week workouts look pretty similar to my non-pregnant workouts. But by 32 weeks, I don't jump much. 
    • Taking out the impact usually means keeping your feet planted on the ground.
    • For example:
      • Running might turn into an Elliptical workout
      • Jumping during a Zumba or cardio class might be seen as a low squat instead
  4. Get Support
    • Emotional support is great. Right now, I'm actually talking about Belly support!
    • Through my pregnancies, I've use maternity belts, kinesiology tape and a sport belly band. Each has pros and cons and I love using them! Try a variety of options so you can seen which ones fit you best throughout your pregnancy. You may also find them useful after your baby is born. 
    • They can alleviate lower back pain, keep your hips in alignment and help distribute the weight from your bump. 
    • For the first half of my pregnancy, I like using kinesiology tape. But you need to see a Certified Professional before you use it. That way, you can learn the right way to apply, how to care for it and which brands might work best for you.
    • For the last half of my pregnancy, I like using a maternity sport band found here at Bao Bei Maternity. They are easy to get on/off and the blue is super cute!
  5. Work on your listening skills
    • The BEST advice that you can have is to listen to your body. If something feels weird or hurts, then STOP. If you feel like you can push a little more, then go for it. 
    • For me, I have to pull back during my last trimester. For cardio, I get to a certain point where I start feeling weird. Also, I reduce my weight during my lifting sessions. I just feel GREAT. 
    • If you ever start feeling cramping, STOP. Sit down and check your water intake. And if you start experiencing spotting, call your doctor ASAP!

Remember that your pregnancy is a time to celebrate all that you can do! You have a front row seat to the start of a new person. But also practice wisdom. There isn't a prize for the mom that exercises the most during her pregnancy. The "prize" is a healthy baby and a healthy mom.