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Exercising and healthy diet...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Can we just chat about this topic? I have been pregnant 3 times before and during all three pregnancies, I ate whatever and didn't exercise at all (gaining 75lbs once and 40lbs twice). For almost a year prior to getting pregnant this time, I've been exercising pretty consistently and I'd like to keep it up. I follow Fit Yummy Mummy for intervals and strength training and about two months ago, I started training for a half marathon (which I obviously won't be running now). I slowly but surely worked my way up to a 3 mile jog. There are so many conflicting arguments on the web as to what's safe and what's not in the first trimester. Keep my heart rate below 140?? For real? I'm also not clear about how many calories I should be eating at almost 5 weeks. Do I really need 300-500 extra calories right away or is that for later in the pregnancy? I'm already starting out 10-12lbs over my ideal weight. I was a sobbing mess last night about the fear of getting big again--selfish I know--I think my hormones are just going wild! 


That all said, please share what your experiences has been so far as well as past pregnancies as far as exercising and eating a healthy diet! 

post #2 of 25

I have always led a more sedentary life and with my son I kept it that way while eating crap.  :(  Gained 60lbs.  With my daughter I didn't do a lot but I did some very low impact things like using my birth/exercise ball and some walking and ate healthier.  This time around I'm planning on doing some prenatal yoga, prenatal bellydancing, and lots of walking with a healthy diet.  I want to make sure I'm in GREAT shape for my homebirth.  I'm not going to focus on calories or what I should/shouldn't do according to whatever random website says it, but I will follow my body's cues and if my diet or exercise gets to be too much I will slow down and change my plans.

post #3 of 25

This is my first pregnancy.  My understanding is that we don't really need any extra calories in the first trimester.  I'm not counting calories, but I am trying to be reasonable about how much I eat.


I'm also trying to eat healthy foods - whole grains and green vegetables in particular, although I also eat meat and dairy and fruit.  I am trying to avoid sugar, although I did just eat a raspberry yogurt covered pretzel, and it was delicious.  Lately I've been eating a ton of pea shoots - they're full of folic acid and other good things, and they are completely delicious on a turkey sandwich. 


I found some good dietary tips here:  http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/gd/gd_prevention.htm

It's a page about avoiding gestational diabetes, but the advice seems pretty good even if you're not high risk:  avoid sugar, avoid simple carbs, eat some protein with every meal, don't go hungry for too long, etc. 


I didn't have an exercise routine before I got pregnant.  I would like to be walking at least half an hour every day, but these days it's so cold and snowy and crappy out I haven't felt like it.  I will try to get that started though. 


Edit:  I would love to do prenatal yoga. 

post #4 of 25

With DD I didn't care at all about what I ate and I only gained 25lbs. I was that girl whose midwife was concerned that she wasn't gaining enough weight, I ate pretty much every 2-3 hours but just didn't get huge. 25lbs is around what a non-plus sized mom should gain, so i was right on track.


that being said, i don't ever exercise but i also do not eat junk food, pregnant or not. My diet consists of whole grains, fruits and veggies,proteins  and healthy fats. I highly suggest eating something every 2 - 3 hours and just making healthy choices.  I eat oatmeal for breakfast with DD, and throughout the day we snack on blueberries and strawberries, cheerios (great if you have some morning sickness) and veggies like carrots. Often I will make a batch of really great muffins, with whole wheat flour, oats, fruits and nuts. Those are great for being full and still good for you.  I also eat a lot of salad and when watermelong season comes along (since i am basically pregnant at the exact same time as i was with dd)  i plan to eat a ton of that.


I'm sorry my story is a little different since i didn't struggle but maybe that can help you!

post #5 of 25

Yellodart: for DD I got this dvd, for prenatal yoga since i could never get myself to actually go to a class(maybe this time)

but i like this dvd.




It is very slow and focuses on mediation and yoga, which i found helpful when it came time for labor.


post #6 of 25

I'm not a runner so I can't help you there but I like walking and will keep that up throughout the pregnancy. I did yoga throughout my last pregnancy and will do so for this one as well. I love it! This pregnancy I'll also be keeping up with my toddler!


I don't pay attention to calories, pregnant or not. I just try to eat healthy and find like others that eating every couple of hours helped me to feel good. During the 1st trimester I mostly snacked since I had morning sickness much of the time. I think I gained around 35 pounds last time. I lost it pretty easily except for maybe 5 pounds or so. I think just listening to your body as far as how much to eat and making healthy choices is important.

post #7 of 25

I run, not lots of miles (3-5 most of the time), but consistently 3-4 days per week. I have a spinning bike at home that I use another couple days per week, and I've been doing Bikram yoga 1-2 times per week for a couple months. I plan to keep my exercise frequency at 4-6 days per week, but I think I'll probably swap the Bikram yoga for a prenatal yoga class.


Last pregnancy I continued running until 37 weeks, which may have been a bit much. Overall though, I found being very active really helpful in terms of keeping my energy up and just feeling well. I was even able to walk 6 miles the day I was in labor, which helped so much with pain and keeping things moving. This time, I'm having more symptoms sooner (tired, crampy, a little nausea), so I think exercising and eating well may end up being even more important.


In terms of food, I have a healthy diet normally, but I do overindulge in treats at times. I'm starting this pregnancy 7lb heavier than the last (but still thin), so while I hope being active and eating well keep me from gaining more than last time (25lb), I'm going to try not stress about it.


It would be nice to keep this going as a place to support one another in staying and fit as we can while pregnant.

post #8 of 25

Kindermama, I'm so glad you brought this subject up- it has been on my mind too.


I found everybody's responses really helpful!  I haven't had a baby before...so I'm not really sure what is 'typical' or 'expected' in weight gain, but I think listening to my body is working so far.   Is it normal - at only five weeks along- to feel like I've already gained weight?   (part of this feeling is probably still that sad extra 7lbs i put on over the holidays. I was still trying to shake that off but now, not so much...)   My jeans are tight this week...and so I've been wearing leggings and my comfy pants.  Is this 'acceptable' by only week 5?  I feel like my jeans shouldn't be too tight to put on at such an early stage. Has anybody else felt this way?


I have moments of morning sickness off and on throughout the days and I am finding if I snack when it comes on- or before it comes on- I can nip it in the bud.  So, I'm snacking a lot.  All my snacks are healthy (rice cakes, almonds, cashews, dates with almond butter.) But then I'm also hungry enough to eat normal-sized meals.  On top of this, I have been feeling bloated and gassy most days this week...so I feel like I'm...getting bigger. 


I am a normal weight, not thin thin, but not over weight. My normal routine is to swim 2 times a week for 30 min and run 3 times a week (3-4 miles). I ran a marathon a year ago...but that training is long gone.  Since I found out I'm pregnant, I do want to run, but I am so exhausted and tired all day! Seriously, I keep reading how important it is to exercise now, but it is all I can do to walk 20 minutes!!  Some days I walk around the block and then I have to crash on the living room couch!  Last week at a dance class, I had to sit down half way through- and I kept getting dizzy.  How am I supposed to get my heart rate up?   Will this time pass and I'll be able to run with confidence in another month or something??


post #9 of 25

I'm a dog walker by profession, so last pregnancy I walked and walked and walked throughout the whole thing, and I really agree with @mingus that being active is really key to just feeling great during pregnancy. I had such a great pregnancy. So great that I decided to do it again pretty soon after! 


(here's a link to a little piece a local blog did about our company while I was pregnant a few summers ago. I totally plug the "walking makes for a healthy pregnancy" at the end.   http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2009/08/25/hounds-on-the-hudson)


I also did prenatal yoga and took a pregnancy workout class that was amazing. (If you are in upstate New York, you must go to Debbi Goodman. Such a great class!) It whipped my butt into shape and I think really helped with the birth! 




I know the general advice is to continue doing whatever you were doing before being pregnant, fitness wise. I think it would be fine to increase the low impact stuff (gentle yoga, walking) if you didn't do much of that before, but I wouldn't add too much to your routine if you weren't used to it prior. If your energy level is low now, you'll probably get a lot of it back in the 2nd trimester. If your body is telling you to rest now, do it! But try to add low impact exercise into your day when you can...it will pay off! 


As far as food goes, I'm with the don't count calories folks. Some people are extra hungry right away and other people are naseous and actually lose weight in the first trimester. All the prenatal nutrition advice points to whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy dairy, meat, beans, tofu, etc. If you didn't eat healthy before, now is a great time to start. I generally eat pretty healthy, but like to indulge every now and again too. I did try to be aware of eating extra protein as the pregnancy went on. I never counted grams, I just tried to make sure I was including a good amount of it in every meal. 


But really, most importantly...just listen to your body! Go with your cravings, sleep when you need to, don't worry too much about the weight you gain during pregnancy (within reason, of course). Every body, every person is different (duh), so there is no "normal" when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I gained about 30 lbs with my son and lost it all within the first year of nursing him. 

post #10 of 25

eljay- I am not a heavy person by any means, with this new pregnancy, as well with the last. I almost immediately felt bloated and like I had gained something. I, too felt my jeans feeling tight last week  (before I knew I was pregnant). I even mentioned that I felt like I had gained a little "winter weight" to DH, to which he laughed at. I am pretty positive I haven't gained a pound, but I DO feel the bloat. I am in yoga pants and comfy sweats most of the day when I can get by with it. shy.gif


So, it may be all in our heads, but I am right there with you!

post #11 of 25

Great topic, thank you for opening it up. I would love to do some mutual support on this.


After having DS, one of the things I said I would do differently if I ever got pregnant again was to keep exercising strenuously through pregnancy even if I was feeling lazy. With my first pregnancy, I kept up a basic, active lifestyle -- I walked a lot, bicycled everywhere until 35 weeks, swam, etc. -- but it was all reasonably gentle, didn't take significant exertion, and if I wasn't feeling up to it, I didn't bother. I was especially couchbound through the first trimester, which made it harder to ramp back up to significant activity again in the second.


This time, I am determined to push through the tiredness and maintain my usual level of exertion, partly to feel better throughout pregnancy and have a healthy pregnancy, partly because it is one of the few things I can do to actually affect the physiological process of labour, and partly so that it is not such a slog to get back into shape after baby is born. It has gotten harder to bounce back from a period of inactivity as I have grown older (I am 35 now), which makes me more motivated not to have any.


So far, I have stuck to yoga and a basic strength routine (pushups, plank, etc.) as a daily bare minimum, with some good cardio (running, exercise DVDs ,etc.) when I could. I am currently rearranging my daily schedule to make sure that I make time for cardio during the day, since I have been finding that my beloved evening exercise doesn't work so well when I fall asleep at 7 pm!

post #12 of 25

I am a "fluffy" mama. Before I conceived ds I lost 70lbs & then gained 40lbs with the pregnancy (despite my best efforts to keep weight gain to a minimum). I ended up with very difficult to treat gestational diabetes that was extremely stressful. After he was born my recovery was fairly slow thanks to a terrible tear so when all was said & done my fitness level was destroyed.


I have been working hard for the past 1.5 years with a personal trainer & recently started with nutritionist which has helped me (finally) drop 25lbs. My workouts mostly focus on lifting as I am now into powerlifting (I have a competition at the end of February) with some very basic cardio.


I am determined not to go back to the same place again & will continue to workout throughout this pregnancy (I did last time but I backed off too much too soon) & will also be sticking with the nutritionist throughout. I am still significantly overweight (I have at least 40lbs to lose) so my goal is to actually come out without any real weight gain.


I am really hoping to avoid gestational diabetes this time but I realize I only have so much control over that.

post #13 of 25

With dd I lost so much weight due to morning sickness that in the end I only gained 10lbs lol.  I know that that is not necessarily going to happen this time around though.  I am starting out not overweight at all, but still 10 lbs over what I normally am as I recently stopped nursing.  I also recently started running and really focusing on eating healthy portions (we never eat junk but I love cheese and butter and that kind of thing and hubby makes an amazing pasta that is so fatty but I just love to eat!).  Not dieting at all, just not eating because its there and I like the way it tastes.  I think listening to my body and not my eyes/nose is better for me.  I am planning on not running as hard as I was, probably just a jog, and maybe eventually a brisk walk.  I'll see where my body takes me!

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well I guess I should stop exercising. I had some brown discharge after exercising yesterday and now this morning, pink & red blood spotting. I totally took it easy yesterday. I did strength training for no more than 20 minutes. I was going to keep going but I felt I should stop for some reason. I guess this was the reason. I hope I didn't just make myself have a miscarriage. :( I have to call my doc today because they want me to call if I have any bleeding at all (again). I bled for 2 days when my period was due but my tests are getting darker by the day. I don't get my 2nd HCG until Monday. I'm worried!

post #15 of 25

Kindermama, big hugs. I hope everything is OK.

post #16 of 25

Thinking of you, Kindermama. I hope baby is ok in there. Keep us posted!

post #17 of 25

Hugs!  Thinking of you Kindermama

post #18 of 25

Kindermama - try to relax. You could not have 'caused yourself a miscarriage' by exercising. Women do some pretty crazy intense things, especially in the early weeks before they get big, that baby is so protected right now. Take a break & follow your body's signals.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

Just an update: spotting totally stopped by last night. Nothing today. Phew! No cramps or anything. I guess I just irritated my uterus or cervix with all the squats. Midwife told me to stick to walking for now. Thanks for your thoughts, Mamas! That was scary!


lifeguard- I was thinking that too! I've seeing pregnant women running marathons! I'm a little bummed I cannot continue what I've been doing for exercising. It really makes me feel good and gives me energy. Hopefully walking will be just as good! 

post #20 of 25

Glad the spotting stopped! Walking seems a bit lame when you're used to more vigorous stuff, but I guess your body was telling you that you need to take it a bit easy for now. I would just try again in a week or two. Hugs!

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