Pregnant Single Mom-Keep you and your Bump Healthy!
If you’re a pregnant single Mom sporting a bit of a baby bump, I hope you’ve read the SingleMindedWomen.com’s new feature article Baby Bump Products—for Single Moms to Be!
And if you’re hoping to keep some of that pregnancy weight from creeping into your backside, Lisa Druxman, a pre/postnatal fitness expert, author of LEAN MOMMY and founder of the country’s largest and fastest growing exercise program for moms and their babies, Stroller Strides®, is here to give you some advice on keeping your tush and thighs as lean and mean as possible!
Some ‘must-have’ items for pregnant women aren’t exactly tangible. Because a prompt return of the pre-baby body is so important to many, probably one of the best things a pregnant woman can acquire is an effective prenatal fitness routine.
It’s hard to believe that some women face even more pressure than many of us feel to quickly lose the baby weight. In aesthetics-obsessed Los Angeles, you better believe some of Hollywood’s expectant elite including Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani and Ashlee Simpson start fretting the bodily effects of the post-baby bump as early as their first trimester.
Taking each trimester into consideration, I’ve put together some prenatal tips to tame the anticipated baby weight anxiety some of these oft-photographed stars might feel. Best of all, these tips don’t require a live-in cook, personal trainer or Dr. 90210, so non-Hollywood moms can also take heed:
FIRST TRIMESTER Target Areas for Exercise: Because of the nausea and exhaustion, you may not feel up to working out. Listen to your body, and take a break any time you need to. Continue to maintain your past workout routine, but don’t try to increase it.
If you didn’t have a regular routine, start slowly with an easy, regular walk, and try to stay active most days of the week. Since you’re currently able to lie on your back, it’s smart to work out your core while you still can.
Regular Fitness Routine To Follow: Walking, running, swimming – really anything you feel up to. As pregnancy progresses, you may no longer enjoy weight-bearing activities such as running, so be sure to get it in now.
Nutritional Tips: Although most celebs eat for aesthetics, now is a time to eat for fuel to encourage your baby’s growth. Stay very hydrated and eat whole foods rich in calcium, folic acid and fiber, like green leafy vegetables, as constipation may be a challenge.
Food aversions may kick in, but don’t worry about how this affects your diet; continue to listen to your body. Instead of eating for two, eat to appetite, and make sure you’re also taking a good prenatal vitamin. And now is a time to abstain from alcohol and limit or cutout caffeine.
SECOND TRIMESTER: Target Areas for Exercise: Sporadic exercise is dangerous during this time, so it’s important to start being very consistent in your fitness routine. You can’t do supine exercise anymore, as your uterus is now big enough to cut off the blood supply when you’re lying down.
Prenatal exercise classes are a plus because instructors can turn you on to routines that are proven to be safe. Again, continue to listen to your body and only do what you feel up to. Be aware that you shouldn’t be participating in any activity where you may fall (such as skiing), experience a blow (kickboxing) or cause any injury to the stomach area.
Because it will naturally rise during pregnancy, don’t use heart rate as a predictor of intensity; instead, use a perceived exertion or talk test (be able to maintain a conversation while exercising).
Regular Fitness Routine To Follow: It may feel uncomfortable to run or do impact exercises, but, again, do what you feel up to. Be aware of your stretching limits; increased relaxin in the blood stream could cause injury if you push past your normal point of flexibility.
Nutritional Tips: Now that you are feeling better, you can pay special attention to nutrition. Eat mini-meals throughout the day, and make sure you get adequate amounts of protein, fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and water. Stay away from processed foods, sugars and extra fats. But be careful of that lean, high protein diet, celebs: you should avoid too much fish, due to mercury levels, and soft cheeses because of bacteria. Your caloric intake should go up, but don’t go crazy; it will just make the baby weight harder to come off in the end.
THIRD TRIMESTER: Target Areas for Exercise: Although you may be tempted, now is not the time to take leave from exercise. It’s not good for you or your baby to cease exercise during pregnancy, so continue to be active most, if not all, days of the week. Keeping up the intensity of your workouts is what’s key, even if it’s kept up by doing significantly less than what you previously were doing.
Begin to target areas that are weakening due to pregnancy, such as stretching the chest area and strengthening the upper back to counteract your increased breast size pulling your body forward. Rows and scapular retractions are great for this. The increasing size of the uterus is stretching and weakening your abdominal muscles, so core exercises (done sitting or standing) like Pilates are recommended.
Pelvic floor muscles also weaken during pregnancy and childbirth, so kegels are important now and forever on to prevent incontinence, sexual dysfunction and more. And for those post-baby paparazzi shots, daily exercise will prevent or minimize varicose veins.
Regular Fitness Routine To Follow: Continue to exercise as many days of the week as possible, but make sure you don’t overheat. Stay cool and wear breathable clothes. Prenatal yoga is a smart choice for opening up the pelvis and getting the body prepared for labor.
Nutritional Tips: Eating might be more of a challenge, as you’ll have less room, so eat frequent, but small, meals. Stay committed to your nutrition, as baby will put on a lot of weight in the last few weeks. Eat iron-rich foods such as lean meats, beans and fortified cereals, as baby might be using up all of your iron. Vitamin C-rich foods will also help with the absorption of iron. Try to avoid salty foods, as you are particularly prone to swelling during this time.
What are some of the ways you keep fit while sporting your baby bump?
For more great articles and advice for single moms, check out the SMW Family Channel on SingleMindedWomen.com.
SingleMindedWomen.com Family Editor