Wow. I can’t believe we are already almost done with spring and into summer. Even more so, I am floored that I am into my third trimester. Granted April and the beginning of May was very hectic for us. Between putting on an Expedition Race, running my second Mama’s Retreat, filming our next Acro Mastermind, exercising and playing with Max, it made the days fly by.
Now that we are a bit more settled and into our “normal” everyday, it feels good to be able to take some needed time to nest, watch Max grow and get time outside.
As I have been out and about, I have gotten a lot of comments and questions from other Mamas, partners and people who are hopefully soon mamas-to-be about exercising while pregnant and how to stay motivated with a toddler on board. While I know that every woman and family unit is different, below are a few of my personal tips and thoughts on the matter.
In the beginning keep up your normal routine as much as possible:
Yeah!! You find out your pregnant, and hopefully you are very excited. Good. Be excited, shout it from the roof tops if you want. However, don’t stop everything. Even if you are tired and feeling sick, try as much as possible to get up and move, it will help you feel so much better. And, this may sound harsh, but after going through a miscarriage and seeing many of the women in my community go through losses of their own, I always tell women to be stoked about the miracle going on inside them, but as much as possible:: stick to their daily routine and life (except stop drinking/smoking of course) until they have reached the 13/14 week mark. Why? Because first of all the thing is so small, nothing you do exercise wise will hurt it, and secondly your body may not be fully ready for it yet and you will miscarry. So why stop doing the things that make you happy? Keep going upside down, running, jumping, climbing until you have passed the what I call “sticking mark”.
Thoughts on exercising while pregnant:
Once my bump started to show and I was starting to physically feel the extra weight and loosening of my joints, I took the opportunity change up my routine. When I am not pregnant, much of my time is spent training specifically for adventure races, mountain bike races and acrobatics. So for my last pregnancy and this pregnancy I have been really enjoying doing things that I haven’t been able to fit into my schedule in the past. So when running turned into more of a run/walk, I switched to swimming and joined the masters swim team, and when acrobatics started to be too awkward, I started climbing more and going to more strength and mobility classes. Yes, I know that “they” say don’t start anything new when you are pregnant, but if you are aware of your body and know when something doesn’t feel right then I say go for it. Also in my case, none of these activities were completely new to me, and none of them are high impact. So, if you are feeling like your current exercise routine is not working for you in your pregnancy, than try something new and different within your scope and ability level.
And if you are one of those lovely pregnant women who can keep running through out your pregnancy, or insist on keeping up with your exercise routine what ever it is- great! Keep it up for as long as it feels good!
Physical Therapy and Self Care tips:
Before, during and after my pregnancy, the most important time investments I made is making time for my physical therapy and self care. The body goes through so many big and subtle changes throughout pregnancy, and it differs from woman to woman. One woman can have pelvis and sacrum issues, while another woman has round ligament and shoulder issues. Many of these issues get self diagnosed as “just apart of pregnancy” however, there are ways to mitigate these or help get rid of them all together. It just takes commitment, which is the hardest part of it all.
My favorite physical therapy exercises come from my personal therapist at ReBound who specializes in women’s health here in Bend and a home resistant band system called CrossOver Symmetry. The CrossOver Symmetry system for both my shoulders and hips have been amazing in preventing aches and pains and helping me have better alignment and form in my everyday movements. And going to my physical therapist a few times through out this pregnancy has helped me move and breath better as my body changes from week to week.
As far as self care goes, getting a massage every few weeks, taking baths and rolling on balls are all musts for me. Every other evening I do a 10 minute rolling session on the balls and rollers in the house while Max plays with his cars. It doesn’t take much, but just sending breath and some pressure to a few key places like the lower back, pecs, neck and calves helps me relax. My favorite massage balls are from RAD Rollers. If you see something you like, use this link and the code Chelsey15 for a sweet discount!
For the Mama’s on their second or third round:
For my first pregnancy, I relished in every wiggle, every change and was in awe of it all. Mostly because I thought that was going to be my only pregnancy. I also had more time throughout the day to do what I wanted when I wanted. Now with Max, who is a wild and fun little two year old, I find myself having a harder time to motivate and stick to my exercise and movement routine. However, for me, giving myself multiple times through out the day to do my yoga and physical therapy helps a lot. I used to be very regimented with it and would do it every morning before Max woke up, but as I started to need more and more sleep, I had to start making myself do it in the middle of the day or in the evening. I get very creative with it as well, sometimes I do it while Max is playing outside, and often times he joins me and loves it. As far as my other aerobic and strength activities, I have made it number one on my “essentials list.**” Both Jason and I know how important it is for our mental health to get out and move everyday, so we make it apart of our every day schedule and know that before anything else, that comes first. I encourage every pregnant woman to make moving outside for at least 30 minutes a day their number one priority, and even better if it is away from your other kids. Time to connect with yourself and the little one growing inside you is such a beautiful thing.
**An essentials list is a list of 3-5 things that you do that make you a better human daily and or weekly. Every couple months my husband and I submit our list to each other so that we can support one another in achieving them, and can check in with each other if we see that one of us has not been doing them. For example, if he feels that I am cranky or out of sorts, he tells me to go swim. And every single time, I come home a much happier and relaxed mother, partner and lover!
While it is hard to justify getting a whole new wardrobe and set of gear for a couple months, some things have proven to make life much more enjoyable. And if you are planning on being pregnant again or have friends who are in line, than it becomes more justifiable!
A more in-depth article is coming out soon on GearJunkie.com but below are some of my favorites so far:
Both the leggings and tank top are my comfiest workout clothing yet. While I don’t run or bike in either of them I do love them for the rest of what I do: yoga, climbing, lifting, practicing acrobatics and going about my everyday errands. The tank top’s material is stretchy and comfortable enough to wear all day long, and my favorite feature is the higher neck line, as I am still not a big fan of my new cleavage!
For the climbers out there, I have found this harness to be effective and comfortable. While it is technically not a pregnancy harness, once the bump starts to show, it is best to take the pressure off your lower belly and it is much safer to get yourself a full body harness. This one does the job and even has gear loops so that I can follow my husband up routes and clean them. I am super grateful for this harness because it lets me climb comfortably at 28 weeks!
This thing is amazing and has made me feel extra supported in all of my activities. It fits snug around the belly, taking pressure off my round ligaments and supporting both my core and lower back. It also reminds me to keep good posture through out the day without making my belly feel to snug or compressed.
For every day wear, I am loving my onsies. I have a couple and have basically lived in them ever since my bump started to pop (which this time around was very, very early!). The only downside to them, is going pee is a bigger ordeal, but not bad. My favorite ones are as follows:
The Manduka Jumper: This one is wide legged and super comfortable for travel and throwing on after a good workout for a day of porch sitting and toddler chasing.
Toad and CO’s Hemp Sleeveless Jumpsuit: This one is adjustable at the shoulders, making it great to accommodate a growing belly. It’s material is Hemp, making it so so nice for the upcoming hot summer days!
Beyond Yogas Jump Suit: This one is my favorite for yoga, climbing and even my strength class. I would recommend sizing up, as the bra part of it is a bit on the smaller side. It seems as though they forgot that when the belly grows.. the boobs follow! While I am still wearing my XS, I do not feel comfortable wearing it on it’s own, so I throw a little muscle tee over top and I am ready to go!
Snoogle/ Pregnancy Pillow:
There are sooo many pregnancy pillows out there, all of them are great because they give your full body support. Get one, you will thank me later.
28 week stats:
At 28 weeks I am feeling really, really good. While my energy levels do go up and down, as long as I am up on my water intake and move everyday, I generally feel great.
What I am loving:
I am LOVING swimming, I crave the feeling of being weightless and “flying” through the water. I also really like the Masters program here, they all are so supportive and nice. Food wise I crave tuna and crackers, and anything that has avocado and sour cream on top of it.
What I am not digging as much:
I am not so into the question “is this your first.” Because it does not feel right to me to say, no it’s my second, so I say “no it’s my third, my first full pregnancy was twins, but one decided to leave at birth.” I am used to saying it, and it lets me honor Spirit B every time, but I know it makes the other person feel a little awkward. Oh well.
Lil C is a wild one. He is constantly moving, especially when he feels is brother near. Max is super sweet with the belly and is very excited to read him the Muffin Man book. He is not so sure about sharing his trucks and cars with him yet though. Spirit B and Lil C have shared his name with me, and Spirit B even said that he picked Lil C and is training him up to be ready for our family. However, both Jason and I are waiting to meet him in person before we share it with anyone else.
I have gotten a few questions about baby shower/registry. We have decided to not have a shower, instead we are going to have a little “Sip and See”, where people can stop by and meet Lil C once he has been out on the outside for a week or two. We are putting together a little registry for those that want to send/give something but it is not necessary. Here is the link if you are interested: