Friday, March 1, 2019

Fitness & Pregnancy -- 38 Weeks in Review

Preggo Pro: You can wear trainers every day
Preggo Con: Swollen Ankles
So this blog post is not really to talk about my pregnancy journey per se. I ran for as long as I was comfortable with, and have moved to elliptical, swimming, and yoga. Am I happy about it? Not really but I know it's temporary and I am still trying to stay active and that's what counts. This is more of some of the things I have heard whilst being pregnant and my experiences in dealing with them. I am not a trained medical professional, not have I ever pretended to be, so take this at face value. Do your own research.

Running is not good when you are pregnant
Poppycock. You run for as long as you are comfortable running. You need to listen to your body and take the cues a bit more seriously now that you are preggo. What does that mean? Well it really depends on you. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. There are women out there still running at 30+ weeks. That is amazing. I think I stopped at 31 weeks. I have come to grips with that.

What caused me to stop? It felt like my shins kept seizing up and nothing was working. I tried to change shoes (your gait changes because big surprise you are gaining weight), wear compression socks, stretch more... nothing. Finally I realised I was dreading going for a run. That's when I knew to stop.

I also bought a pregnancy support belt which helped keep me going for as long as I did. In fact I still wear it on the elliptical and spin bike. This is what I bought. I love it. Plenty of other options out there. 

You should keep your heart rate down when you are pregnant
May as well have fun with it!
I agree you should not keep elevated heart rate levels for long when pregnant, but I definitely think a bit of panting and sweating is a good thing. It's actually probably better to go by feel than actual heart rate. Someone at some point said nothing over 140 when pregnant. This has been debunked. I have taken stairs and my heart rate has gone above that. You go for your exertion. If you are on the spin bike and you want to do a sprint for 20 seconds, by all means go for it. Doing a 5k and want to kick at the end-- sure! Just again, listen to your body. You start to feel weird cramping-- just ease off. Feel too out of breath? Dial it back. And hydrate hydrate hydrate. Keep the braxton hicks at bay for as long as possible.

Twisting and Lying on Your Back is Bad
Twisting I agree with, you dont want to constrict babies space in an already constricted area. It's fine when they are the size of a sweet pea, but not when they are the size of a watermelon. Also whoever came up with the fruit comparisons is a terrible person. I hate them. Sorry. However you can still do open twists, so don't worry there.

The whole back thing is interesting because its not actually about the baby, it's about you. The weight of the baby puts pressure on a major blood vessel, and it reduces your blood circulation efficiency. So at that point, yes it does affect your baby. Yes everything is about the bloody baby now. Sorry that's the way it is. So doing some exercises on your back is OK, but honestly you will know when its too long. I have done bodypump classes where I would put the step on an angle when doing the back exercises. I have woken up on my back-- my body told me it was uncomfortable so I woke up. We are pretty intelligent beings (even on autopilot) so don't freak out too much.

Some Other Things I Noticed
Not all instructors are trained to deal with pregnant women. Nor would I expect them all to be. I would always pull the instructor aside and let them know how far along I am. Sometimes that was met with hesitation, other times a hearty congratulations. It's important to assure them that you will take breaks if you need, drink water when you feel you need to etc. Also dont be afraid to modify. A spin instructor may be telling people to go into aero, but if you got a large enough bump you may not feel comfortable in that position. Don't be afraid to not go into that position! If you told the instructor before hand he/she will know and be less worried about you. You do you. Don't worry what others think.

Also unrelated to fitness-- yes you can have caffeine. 200mg or about 2 cups of coffee. If you go slightly over it's not the end of the world. That 'no caffeine' myth need to be completely busted. I think it gets tricky if you also drink tea and/or pop(soda). Then yes, you may need to start switching to decaf at some point during the day. Don't you dare get between me and my flat white though. Nosiree.

No no.. not SWOL.. SWADDLING