Ms. Pepper continues to grow! Her bones are beginning to solidify and the result is that she is leaching the calcium from my bones to meet her needs-and kicking me like crazy! Due to this, my midwife recommended that I increase my daily dosage of the Pregnancy Plus CalMag by an additional capsule. She hopes that this will help to stave off any cramping or charlie horse like pains in my legs, as this is the typical side effect women experience during this stage of pregnancy. Prior to doing this, you will want to touch base with your physician or midwife for feedback, as some women can experience negative side effects, like diarrhea, when adding more Magnesium to their diets. So, always good to double check!
Now that my belly is growing and growing, I have officially moved over to maternity clothes. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to find clothes that are not only stylish but also affordable! There are a lot of designer maternity lines, that of course have beautiful options, but my lifestyle and my pocket book don’t really coincide with the designer options available. Being over half way through, I hope to only be wearing the clothes for another couple of months. Our large retail stores here in Bellingham don’t offer maternity sections, except the newly opened H&M! I am going to give them a plug here, because the clothes and price point cannot be beat. They are chic and most importantly comfortable, and it is nice to feel ‘good’ again getting ready in the morning. If you do not have an H&M in your area, they do offer online shopping too! The only items that H&M did not offer were workout clothes. I, luckily, work in a causal work environment where we are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes. Most days a group of us do try and get out and exercise during our breaks. We are within walking distance to a great running trail and tennis club, which are two of my favorite past times! I have found Target to be the best resource for stretchy pants, and loose fitting bra tops. As someone who started this path to motherhood in the A cup category, the new revelation of boobs has definitely thrown me for a loop. I never had to really worry about “support,” but now keeping the girls in place during a workout is essential!
Throughout my pregnancy, I have tried my best to maintain a fitness routine, whether that be walking/running for an hour, hiking with my dogs, playing tennis, or taking a fitness class. My goal being to maintain a good level of endurance, which I have heard is the greatest asset you can bring into the delivery room. Obviously, keeping up the cardio also helps to keep the extra cravings and the “what the heck, I’m pregnant” gorges in check. My family recently went on our annual reunion, and we are a very active bunch! Most days started with a hiking or kayaking, followed by some mid-day tennis, and then a swim to follow. Although I was very grateful for the motivation to keep me moving, I did have to play the “I am pregnant, give me a break” card more than once. Luckily, my sister has been there, and could sympathize with my napping and wuss-like behavior! I have been diligent about listening to my body, which I feel is so important. Some days, like today, I have every intention of exercising but my body just tells me “no.” Taking time to relax and unwind, I have found, is just as important to both my physical and mental wellbeing.
Also, during exercise, knowing my limits and scaling back my “usual” performance levels to accommodate my changing body has become essential. Getting used to my belly, and how it affects my balance, has been the hardest. As an adult you don’t really think about falling down… yes, it happens occasionally but the repercussions are not as extreme as they can be when you are pregnant. On a hike recently, I misstepped…… the non-pregnant me would have recovered fine, but the pregnant me felt completely out of control of my body, and took a tumble. We were both just fine, but it was definitely a wake up call. So, although I do encourage all of my fellow pregsters to keep up the activity, I do caution you to take care with your level of activity and to understand your “normal” is now completely different.
The one exercise to increase without inhibition is the Kegal exercise! The more the merrier is what I have been told by my midwife and friends that are moms. The Kegal exercise will help to strengthen your vaginal muscles, which will come in handy throughout the delivery, but also will help to make recovery much easier. Luckily, this is an exercise that can be done throughout the day, anytime and anywhere. Reminders are great… I have a note in my car, to help me to utilize my commute for some good exercising! We all need motivation and reminders no matter how fit or out of shape you are, because exercise is work. The best quote I have heard is: “The worst workout you can have, is the one you don’t do!” So, keep up the activity ladies… your hubs, baby, and of course YOU, will thank you later!