The Glass Woman

I found out I was pregnant for the first time right before New Year’s.  On New Year’s Day  my husband and I went to the book store and bought What to Expect While Your Expecting and a few other literary gems.  I spent the day pouring over these books and after a few hours was amazed at how many things could go wrong.  Consequently, I wondered if the best course of action might be to stay on that couch surrounded by pillows for the next 9 months to keep anything from jeopardizing the pregnancy.  Since my job requires constant motion this was a precarious situation.  I grew nervous about my own exercise routine as well as the classes I needed to teach that week.  Would I cook the embryo by raising my body temperature or shake it loose by standing on my head?  Did my run that morning already dislodge it?  A need for control and the fear of doing something wrong was overriding my professional knowledge, common sense, and intuition.  It took losing the first pregnancy after being extremely careful to realize that no matter what actions I take there are many forces beyond my control.  It is unlikely to lose a pregnancy by moving the wrong way.  Flash forward 6 months later to 23 weeks into my second pregnancy and I am pretty much keeping to my normal routine with a few modifications.  This time around I let listening to my body and good common sense guide me and (knock on wood) both the baby and I are healthy and right on track.  Here is what I’ve learned first hand about exercise and pregnancy so far:

1.) Do it!: Even on the days I felt pretty gross during the first trimester a little movement went a long way.  It was one of the few things that made me feel human again (that and TONS of sleep).

2.) First trimester=green light for activity: You can’t “shake the baby loose” “squish it” or in other words harm the baby with a reasonable amount exercise.  Most pregnant women aren’t up to killing it at the gym during this time but if you feel well enough to keep moving through your normal routine don’t feel like you have to downshift right away.  Rest when you need it , check in with your body more frequently, but don’t stop completely unless it’s a medical recommendation.

3.) Your body will tell you when it’s time to modify: I’ve learned this one the hard way a few times and lived to tell the story.  Your body will tell you when something doesn’t feel right.  There may come a point when you physically cannot lie face down on your stomach or exercising on your back starts making you feel faint.  You will eventually need to change the way you move to accommodate your changing body.  Your body will let you know when that time comes.

4.) Train in the second trimester for the third: Though you may not be training for the Olympics you are indeed training for one of the greatest endurance events of all time: giving birth!  Look at the second trimester as a chance to get prepared for it.  Strengthening your entire body while you have the energy and ability during the second trimester will only help when things get tougher in the third.

If you need further motivation check out this article.  You may want to print it out the next time you are working out and some ill-informed individual asks if you “really should be doing that”.   Yes, you really should.

One Comment

  1. Nice job. I hope that I’m not the ill-informed individual. I’m your mom. It’s my job to worry about you. (As you will find out in a few months and for the rest of your life.) Love, Mom


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