We should not take pregnancy and exercise as opposites but something which compliments each other. It is a known fact that during pregnancy it is natural for a pregnant mother to put on weight, but this weight gain must be maintained at all times. It will be easier to get rid of this excess weight after the child is born.
Many women or even men have this belief that when a woman gets pregnant, it will make the woman out of shape and feel that they will not get back to the shape they once were. We need to remove this image from our mind as you can see many actresses and celebrities have gotten back into shape after they have delivered their child. So if they can do it, so can you.
Even at the time of writing this post a mother of three, Mrs. Kokilam Kathiravalu from Malaysia was one of the top three winners of Mrs. World 2019 beauty pageant. Read it here.
One more thing, in pregnancy exercise, should always be at the advice of a medical doctor and mainly you should know if you are fit to exercise. He will give the right workout plans for pregnancy.
There is this traditional belief that a pregnant woman should not do an exercise or any heavy work. During those days it is difficult to get a doctor if you fall ‘sick’ so best is to stay away from all activities. But today this is not the case anymore as there are so many doctors who can attend to you timely if there are any complications or any queries.
And it is a fact a healthy mother will lead to easier natural delivery and towards a healthy, jovial baby.
Healthy Pregnancy Habits
Some pregnant women have this yearning of eating or doing something. Some will eat more than usual whether healthy or junk food, have a desire to smoke just to reduce stress or others and some on alcohol. These are all terrible habits that need to restraint for the good of the mother to be and the baby.
So they should incorporate proper nutrition and healthy workouts into their daily life. The partner should play an active role together. He should give all the support and motivations possible at all times.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to get what is necessary for both of you. Try not to depend much on pills or supplements. Eating as healthy as natural as possible is the best. There is also a tendency for some to be couch potatoes. They will try to get the partner to do most of the things around. Some say this is their chance of ‘bullying’ the partner.
But never be a couch potato. It is good if you could do the workouts as before you were pregnant and, if you had been an active person then you should be able to assess yourself on how much of exercise you can do. But then there is some woman who goes through bad vomiting or morning sickness. It is you who knows the best about what you should do. Never sit down and do nothing.
Some housework where you need to bend and twist a little is good. But always remember during this pregnancy period to do things in moderation. Never exert yourself or do high impact exercises or work. Even racket game is not advisable where you are out of balance.
So maintaining a good workout routine during the pregnancy period will keep you healthy, happy and motivated.
Exercise during pregnancy
Brisk walking is one of the best exercises you can do. Your husband or if you have other children can tag along. This is good for family bonding and time together. Pick unfamiliar places every day so you will not get bored. A beautiful environment or a different park will be good for excitement and happiness.
But depending on where you located, high-rise buildings or apartments, it could be difficult to find some suitable walking place. You can always get a treadmill or an elliptical machine to work out. Both are low impact machines. This will be one of the safest forms of exercise and whenever you feel like it, you can work out.
Next is in the swimming pool where you can swim lightly or just walk in the water. Again your children or other children jumping, shouting or diving will give you the joy too. Watching them play is so wonderful.
The key here is variable daily activities and places. The smell of natural fresh air, flowers and nature will do wonders.
Coming back to home or gym exercises, if you were highly active before your pregnancy, you may miss your cardio sessions where blood circulation and a good heart-pumping activity will be good for you and the baby. This is where a gentle hiking or brisk walking comes in handy.
No matter how active you were before you were pregnant, try to restrain from active sports like skipping, full gym workouts, running and other bumping sports. Avoid strenuous activities but a little strength training is OK as long as it’s done at a very minimum.
You may have heard or maybe you are going through it that during pregnancy that the back, neck, legs ache especially during the later stage of pregnancy. So a good moderate workout involving all these muscles will reduce all these aches. If good posture maintained, all this discomfort will reduce.
Again, get expert medical advice on the best types of exercises and how it should get done. Just be careful and don’t overdo. Daily movement and not being idle is important.
Exercise After Pregnancy
Now with all the activities done to get yourself in good controlled shape and not gaining unwanted fats around the body, and with the delivery of the beautiful baby, so what is next to get back to your beautiful self as before pregnancy?
Well, it will not be easy, but persistence and regular activity and the correct nutrition will get you what you want. Your mindset should be in the correct state first. It’s what you want is what will happen. Remember, many celebrities are back to normal after delivery.
Think of this for a moment. You are back to normal body shape but with an addition of a healthy and jovial baby. What else a woman wants?
Depending on if it’s a normal delivery or caesarian, you can be back to a slow workout after a few weeks. Normally with normal delivery, the mother can start some light activities after two or three weeks. Give about two or three months to start an exercise program.
Go for all the daily light activities you can do initially, like slow walking. Monitor yourself if you increase the intensity. You can start some light home exercises like using home fitness equipment most suited to you. A treadmill that has variable speed and inclination will be good. Even a stationary bike with music or TV with entertainment will do wonders.
It will amaze you at how well you have done within six months. You will be the envy of most mothers. Note that the birth of a child does not ‘cage’ you to living a life with an out of shape body. You can have many babies and have the same body shape if you follow closely on the activities.
You will inculcate the determination, persistence, discipline, and effort you have gone through to the child. Medical science has proven what a mother does during the pregnancy period is what the child picks up. These are all excellent qualities a child will pick up. Who knows, he or she will be a talented athlete one day.
One best thing about being in shape after pregnancy is that you get to use back all the dresses, pants and others which you have not used for some time.
The wonderful feeling of the nine months, delivering of the baby and getting back into your normal self or better will be one memory a mother will never forget so will it be for the father.
Remove the taught of once you have a baby you will lose your beauty and people will not see you the same anymore. Always have this picture in your mind that if others, after having many babies, looks like a lady who has not married, can look so beautiful, so can you.
What you need is just a strong mindset with determination and persistence to follow all the activities. It is OK to let go and enjoy what you yearn for during pregnancy but in a controlled state. Always be conscious of what you are eating or ‘inappropriate activities you are doing’ and you can never be wrong.
A beautiful mother with a beautiful baby, that is you.
Mothers and would-be mothers, are you doing activities you would like to share in this post for the benefit of other would-be mothers, please share your experience below in the comments section.