In general I lead an active and healthy lifestyle, but pregnancy tests me in ways I never imagined. Between complications, the nausea & sickness, the food aversions, the body aches and changes, oh and chasing two older boys around, it can be challenging to say the least. I think many of us will agree that pregnancy (especially the 1st trimester) is survival mode; you do what you have to do to power through. I often laugh at my pregnant self, because sometimes a bagel is exactly what I need, and sometimes catching up on a show is the best medicine. With that said, we all have our little ones health and best interests at heart and we all want to be as healthy as possible. I find the best thing I can do is listen to my body, go easy on myself, and find simple solutions or substitutions. Here are 6 things I try to do to stay healthy and few hacks to help along the way:
Stay hydrated- this can be difficult when your nauseous all the time, but staying hydrated is essential, even more important when you're frequently sick (not to mention it helps with my Braxton Hicks). I find drinking cold water with ice and lemon, cucumber, or a splash of lemonade to my water really helps makes it go down easier.
Get your nutrients in where you can- We all want to fuel our body with the best nutrition possible for our growing babies but often the side effects of pregnancy can throw a monkey wrench in our plans. For me in the first 20 weeks or so of pregnancy, veggies (especially raw ones) are usually a food aversion (as in there's no way I can get down a salad). Getting creative with veggie consumption is key. Adding a scoop of spinach or an avocado to a smoothie, sipping veggie soups, or adding veggies them to warm dishes like pasta sauce are all things that seem to work for me. I also just recently discovered Bundle Organics, which is a great way to drink my veggies (and fruits) and a great alternative to stay hydrated. These drinks are packed with nutrients including Folic Acid Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega 3, and are made with a variety of fruits and veggies (the orange drink is my favorite). In my area you can pick them up at Babies "R" Us or have them sent directly to you. I'll likely be drinking these even after the baby comes. Find out more about these juices on their website.
Take prenatals and time them right: We all know that taking prenatal vitamins is essential (I take USANA Baby Care), but when you're feeling nauseous, it can be hard to get them down. The best approach for me is never to take them first thing in the morning or right before bed, that only leads to a even more sour stomach. I find that taking them with my biggest meal of the deal is usually my best bet.
Eat throughout the day- I find that smaller more frequent meals is the best way to keep myself full and to keep the nausea at bay. I always keep high protein snacks like trail mix on hand (I have a bag next to my nightstand) and I always make myself a protein smoothie right when I get up to get something in my stomach.
Stay active in ways that work for you- now huge disclaimer here, your activity level during pregnancy should be based on what you've discussed with your doctor and what is right for your body and situation. I try to listen to my body and do what feels good and what my doctor and I are comfortable with. With a history of preterm delivery, a placental abrubtion, and other current complications, I stick with low impact and tend to switch it up throughout the week. I love Tracy Anderson's Pregnancy Project (I can do it at home and it uses very light weights and lots of stretching), prenatal yoga, and walking. It just feels good to move and makes things easier on the other end.
Get plenty of R&R- Do whatever you can to stay well rested. As pregnancy progresses this becomes increasingly difficult, but do whatever you can to get rest and a bit of relaxation. Maybe it means just laying down and reading a book, or getting a message, and it might mean heading to bed really early. It can also be hard to find a comfortable position especially if you're use to sleeping on your stomach or back. I find using a pregnancy pillow body pillow really helpful for getting comfortable (I use this one).
What are your things you do to stay healthy and feel good during pregnancy? Always helpful to hear tips from other moms! Thanks as always for stopping by!
I'm Rebecca, a Maine mom of three energetic young boys and wife of a lobsterman, living in my favorite place, the coast of Maine. You'll find me here talking about my parenting journey, mom style, recipes, running and exercise, travel, stories from our life in Maine and so much more! Most days I'm just figuring it out as I go - Thanks so much for stopping by!