Before I got pregnant I had an idea of how things would look when the time came. Things such as eating healthy, working out, taking all the appropriate supplements, etc.
But the crazy thing was that when I first got pregnant, all I heard from people was “this is the time to go nuts! You’re going to get bigger anyway, so you might as well eat and drink whatever you want.”
I would smile, shake my head, but think to myself, that is absolutely what I DON’T want to do. My goal during pregnancy was to create the healthiest environment in my body for myself, and my baby to thrive. My child was going to get everything that I put in my own body so I wanted him to get all he needed to grow strong and healthy.(*Possibly insert statistic on how many toxins are found in the umbilical chord)
The beginning of my pregnancy was a little rough. When I hit 6 weeks the nausea started to set in. A few weeks of puking and I wanted to try to find something to help. I read somewhere that nausea during pregnancy is mainly due to a lack of protein. But the last thing you want to do when you are wanting to hurl everywhere is eat. So at night right before I went to bed I would load up on 15-20 grams of protein consisting of either an organic nut butter or an organic Perfect bar. This would help sustain me through the night so when I woke up in the morning, my body wouldn’t be so starving, which in turn made me less nauseous and able to eat to keep me from getting sick. It actually worked. I’m not saying this will work for everyone, but it worked for me.
The things I ate didn’t really change from my normal everyday life. I just became more aware of what I put into my body. Before I was pregnant, if I saw something I wanted to eat, I would just eat it, but when I was pregnant, I would think before I ate and would ask myself if this was something that was actually going to benefit my body and my baby’s body.
There are certain things that I would always stay away from, cow’s dairy, refined sugars, gluten, and white starches. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE these things. I am a total sweet tooth, cheese lover, and carb girl. But I knew that these things wouldn’t be what is best for me and the baby. Reason being is cow’s dairy and gluten are two of the most highly allergic foods to humans because they create a very high inflammatory response in the body. That was my “why” and it kept me motivated to not eat those things. So what I did (and still do now) is allow myself one vacation MEAL a week. Not a full day, one meal.
So what did I actually eat? Tons of veggies, protein from organic and grass fed/finished meats such as: chicken, turkey, beef and lamb. I also incorporated lots of fresh wild caught fish like salmon because it is high in good healthy fats such as Omega 3”s which are incredible for body, brain development and health during pregnancy and in the infant stages.(*source: healthline.com– article on 17 science based benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
I made sure to get in 4-6 portions of fish per week. I needed some carbs for energy so I chose sweet potatoes, and brown rice instead of anything white. I drank 80-100 ounces of water every single day. And that is it. Super simple.
You may be asking, “but Hunter didn’t you get cravings?” Well yes, but I get cravings in my everyday life. So when I would start to crave anything that wasn’t beneficial to me, I would stop and wait 10 minutes. If I still wanted it (which 9 times out of 10 the urge went away) then I would make a healthier version of whatever I wanted. I discovered you always have a choice to give into a craving or not. Yes, even when you’re pregnant. You don’t just magically get to lose all yourself control when you get pregnant.
Alright. Let’s talk about exercise. I really believe that exercise makes a huge difference when pregnant, and is super helpful for labor and delivery. I tried to walk almost every day and I went to the gym and did weight training 2-3 times a week. I did this throughout my whole pregnancy. Yes there were a lot of times when I really didn’t want to do anything, I was so tired and just wanted to lay on the couch. And some days I did, and chose to rest. But most of the time I got my rear end up and did some exercise and I didn’t regret it one bit. I noticed on the days I worked out, my sleep was much better and I got even more energy afterwards.
I had the worst sciatic pains starting around 28 weeks. From all the change happening in my body, to working out just made my muscles so tight. Every single day I would stretch. EVERYDAY. Morning and night. I discovered this is SO SO important. A combination of stretching, seeing my chiropractor, and the occasional prenatal massages made the biggest difference with the way my body felt.
Lastly, I want to mention the supplements that I took while pregnant (I actually still take every single one of them. Read part two next week to find out my secret weapon to help with postpartum recovery and breastfeeding).
From Nature’s Sunshine, I took their prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 EPA, and ultimate green zone. From MaxLiving I took their vitamin D + Probiotic. As always, consult your OB before taking anything.
As so many of you are aware, pregnancy is an adventure. Everything changes. It’s fun, and sometimes it’s a bit challenging. Then you have a baby and everything REALLY changes! All you mammas out there know what I’m talking about. But in the end it’s worth it all.
Next week I’ll be talking all about my postpartum journey! Can’t wait to share what I’ve been discovering in this process!
What are things you learned in your pregnancy journey that you’d love others to know?