So the last time I was pregnant, I was just coming off of being an actor “full time,” so I was pretty used to prioritizing taking care of myself, since that is an essential part of an actor’s job. Even though I was not as educated as I am now in the area of nutrition, I was very disciplined. I rarely ate desserts or sweets and overall ate very healthy. Even though I did consume a lot more preservatives, processed foods, pesticides, and artificial hormones, etc.
The best thing, though, that I probably did to prepare for childbirth was exercising like crazy. I always enjoyed exercising since long before I became pregnant, but once I got it in my head that I was going to have to accomplish the greatest physical task of my life, I really kicked the exercising into high gear. I continued my jogging regimen until I was 5 months pregnant and my back no longer allowed me. Then I switched to walking and ended up walking twice a day. I went to Curves twice a week at least, sometimes three. I did prenatal yoga for the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy (it would have been six if Peer hadn’t come early, causing me to lose the last two weeks of my package!). On top of all this, I religiously did all the exercises in the Bradley workbook with Andy’s help. I felt great. And I never loved my body more.
But this time around I am a full-time mom, which means I have become accustomed to putting my own needs on the back burner, in order to cater to the needs of others (namely, my child). One of my apprehensions toward getting pregnant was my fear that I would not be able to get into shape like I did last time. I do eat healthier, more natural foods now. And I gave up meat. But the discipline seems to be gone. After I’ve had a crazy day with Peer, I desperately want comfort food! I don’t think I really overdo it, but when dessert is offered, I take it! I tried jogging at the beginning of my pregnancy, but I was so sick and fatigued that I just couldn’t. (I was sick last time too– how did I do it?) I obviously can’t go to the gym anymore, especially not Curves because of their crazy hours.
So here’s what I am doing: I exchanged the possibility of jogging with the certainty of daily walks. And they are long– about an hour every day. And by every day, I mean about four days a week. ‘Cause Friday is Funday. I started doing prenatal yoga a few weeks ago. This is much earlier in the pregnancy than last time, so I’m hoping that covers some of the other exercise I’m not getting. I’ve been trying to do the Bradley exercises again, but it’s been sporadic. Again, a discipline issue. I’ve been writing down what I eat, and that helps. I count my proteins and try to get 60-80 grams per day, spreading the protein out over as many food groups as possible. Last time I did 80-100, but my midwife and others all agree that 60 is sufficient. But I don’t write this stuff down every day. Maybe a few days per week. Again, a discipline problem. That’s about it.
I’m trying not to freak out, and accept the fact that I will probably gain more this time than I did last time. I only gained 20 lbs last time, which is very low. I’ll probably lose a lot while I’m exclusively breastfeeding, although I don’t want to depend on that. And I’m also reminding myself that theoretically, this birth should be easier since it is my second. Even if I’m not in tip-top shape, the rest of my body is much more familiar with the task. And that perhaps, it is more important to train my mind and spirit than my body.
So does anyone else have tips for exercising during pregnancy? Especially any habits that can be implemented with a toddler running around? Or any other childbirth preparation in general that they’d like to pass on? It’s just so different for your second– I feel like I’m treading new water!