Pregnancy Month 3

Recapping my experience on the 3rd month of pregnancy with Jack last year:  Morning sickness, exercising, and waiting for that first kick!

 

Morning sickness: We spent 3 weeks in Ohio for our summer break and I was just telling my mom that I was so glad I hadn’t experienced any morning sickness!  We’ll I spoke too soon.  Once we returned to Florida it started.  I shouldn’t complain too much because I never did throw up, but I did feel very uncomfortable.  I had a lot of nausea, and it started around week 8 and it didn’t subside until I was well into the 5th month.  Many health care professionals think pregnancy related nausea and morning sickness is due to erotically changing hormones early in pregnancy.  They also think drastic dips and peaks in blood sugar can aggravate it.  So I carried a bag of almonds and raisons with me around school and work (I had a part time job at Dillard’s).  Eating small meals and a protein and light-on-the-carb’s snack like almonds, between meals helped keep my blood sugar steady.  It helped the nausea a little but it never really eliminated it.  For me the nausea was worse in the evening. 

 

Exercising:  Exercising during pregnancy is very beneficial to both the mom and baby, except in rare, high-risk pregnancies.  Exercising was very important to me.  I have been an athlete all my life and I’ve always made a strong effort to stay in shape, exercise and eat healthy, and I didn’t want to change due to pregnancy.  So I did some research on exercising during pregnancy and read the book “Exercising During Your Pregnancy” by Dr. James Clapp.  The book was very informative and I recomend it to any pregnant woman who would like some tips on exercising while pregnant.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what I learned:

 

Benefits of exercising through Pregnancy

         Limited weight gain

         Less physical discomfort

         More energy

         Easier, shorter, less complicated labor

         Quick Recovery, and more!

 

·        Exercising is beneficial for mom and baby (weather you are an experienced, intense exerciser, or a casual walker)

·        Exercising moms often have shorter labors, deliver early rather than late, and have babies with lower but still healthy birth weights.  (If you discontinue exercise during the 9 months then these benefits may not apply)

·        Exercise helps prepare the baby and mother for the stresses of labor and delivery

·        Avoid exercising in hot, humid environments

·        The Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale may be a better measure of exercise intensity in pregnancy than heart rate.  The RPE scale is 6-20 with “6” being how you feel at rest and “20” being maximal exertion. 

·        Clapp’s book uses research to address any safety concerns mom’s may have about exercising while pregnant. 

·        You should avoid exercises such as downhill, skiing, skateboarding, horse back ridding, and other activities where you could fall or harm the baby after the baby protrudes through the pelvic outlet (when you start to see a baby bump)

 

I had been running, swimming, erging (rowing ergometer), walking, and occasional pilates and/or light weights before pregnancy.  I typically did 3-4 cardio workouts and 2 strength workouts each week.  I continued most of these activities during early pregnancy.  My frequency slowed down as the morning sickness picked up though.  The nausea made exercise not very appealing.  After the nausea subsided I never did get back to the same exercise frequency that I had pre-nausea.  However, in retrospect I wish I had made more of an effort to continue my exercise frequency throughout pregnancy because of it’s many benefits.  Here is a nice article from the Washington Post and some additional resources 1 and 2 on the benifits and guidelines on exercising during pregnancy. 

 

*There are some contraindications to exercising during pregnancy so do your research and consult your health care provider

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