Many of us, if not all of us, struggle with a little demon called ‘The Scale’, deciding to start looking for a baby can therefore instill the fear of God in us…How much should we gain? What should we eat? How much should we be exercising? The list of questions regarding health and procreation is endless. Stubborn Tales has teamed up with Erika Boom, founder of belly-n-kicks and Fit Mama clothing, to shed light on the three stages of pregnancy and how to stay healthy before, during, and after this ever-changing stage of a woman’s life.
This post is the first of three Q&A’s which we will be featuring over the next few weeks. Keep a look out in the coming days for a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!!! If you have any questions you’d like answered, don’t hesitate to send them in to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Pregnancy Fitness & Health:
- Let’s start with exercise routine: is there any routine one should adhere to prior to conceiving (yoga, pilates, crossfit, running, etc.)? Why?
There is really no specific routine to adhere before conceiving, but its always a good idea to do some strength and some cardio.
- If a woman does not have a regular exercise routine, should she adopt one prior to conceiving? Why? How far in advance should she do so, and how should she gauge the intensity at which she should be exercising?
Adopting an exercise routine is a good idea before conceiving. It helps you get into the habit of exercising, which makes it easier to keep when you are pregnant. Intensity should be moderately hard, unless you are doing any specific training for a competition or an event.
- Should women be looking to strengthen their core prior to getting pregnant? If so, how?
Yes. A strong core helps to support the growing belly, helps to prevent lower back pain, and will also help during the pushing phase of labor. Abdominal work should include traditional exercises and isometric exercises. (See example here)
- How can a woman tell if she is at an adequate weight to get pregnant? Is there such a thing?
The BMI (Body Mass Index) is a ratio of weight to height, and is a measurement of how low or high is a woman’s weight compared to her height. Low BMI’s tend to gain a bit more weight during pregnancy than high BMI’s
- Most literature on pre-pregnancy diets suggests steering clear of alcohol and coffee, do you agree? Is consumption in moderation ok?
I think everything in moderation, and my OBGYN was fine with that. I cup of coffee or alcohol MAX a day, but consult with your doctor always.
- Are there any “super foods” that you recommend be integrated into a woman’s diet prior to conceiving?
A woman should carry a healthy diet which includes all macro-nutrients. Also before conceiving she should have foods rich in Folic Acid like chickpeas, broccoli, avocados etc.
- Are there any fitness supplements that should be avoided while trying to conceive (protein powders, vitamins, fat burners, etc.)?
I would steer away from anything except a good prenatal multivitamin, folic acid and clean protein shakes.
- Fish is a staple in many weight-maintenance and weight-loss programs; however, pregnant woman are advised to significantly reduce or avoid fish as a main source of protein. Should a pre-pregnancy diet include fish? Why or why not? And which fish are the best options?
ACOG revised the servings for fish consumption during pregnancy, particularly because women were not getting enough Fish Oils. Two (2) servings of fish are recommended per week, best options are the ones containing the least amount of mercury.
- Making drastic lifestyle changes can seem like a daunting task, and so many women ignore taking on healthier habits prior to getting pregnant. How can a woman prepare her body for pregnancy without making drastic lifestyle changes?
Simple things like picking up a workout routine, including more fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water a day make a huge difference.
- There’s a lot of information on the web regarding pre-pregnancy diets and exercise routines. If there were one prevailing tip you could offer women about their pre-pregnancy health, what would it be?
The earlier you pick up a healthy lifestyle (working out and eating clean) the more benefits you will get. The key to getting back in shape after a pregnancy, is taking good care of yourself during the pregnancy. Being healthy pre-pregnancy makes the whole journey easier.