How is it that I have reached the halfway mark already. The days can be long, but the weeks and months seem to fly by. When people ask, "How are you feeling?" it feels like a silly question now. I feel so “normal” that reporting on pregnancy symptoms seems unnecessary at this point. The only symptoms to note are my growing belly, and thus an increasing pile of clothes that no longer fit. My weight gain is sitting at about 15 lbs. so far which seems like alot, but its not something I try to focus on. I am working to maintain a manageable schedule with kids, work, life, and workouts, but the whirlwind of chaos picks up every time I think it’s starting to die down.
Here are some pregnancy updates, the good, the bad and the TMI.
Consuming The Right Calories Has Been a Challenge.
During the hot summer months it’s important to stay very hydrated. I feel better when I am drinking tons of fluids, but my calorie consumption is not always what it should be. Sometimes I go several hours without eating, and snack on fig bars or tortilla chips as the hours drag on between meals. During the first trimester it is imperative to eat small meals regularly and stay stocked with nutrient dense foods like nuts or jerky just to combat the nausea. In recent weeks, that nauseous feeling can take much longer to set in. I try to remember to pack quality snacks and meals so I do not end up eating low quality food on the run.
I am finally starting to feel the baby move! This is one of the most exciting things about pregnancy. I remember feeling the baby move earlier in my previous pregnancies, and I was beginning to get worried that I haven’t felt baby movement. The placement of the placenta and the size of the baby can have an affect on the timing of this. It is a both a huge relief and a reality check when baby movement begins. When the baby moves around it feels like you are never alone. Mostly because movement increases when you settle down to relax. It’s a good reminder that every decision about food and exercise is affecting the growing baby.
My partner also got to feel the baby move recently. This is exciting for both parties because now we can both experience the excitement for this new life.
Workouts are starting to be affected by the growing bump.
Some movements need to be modified as pregnancy progresses. I continued to perform the Olympic lifts during much of my previous pregnancy. Snatches have become more difficult because the bar stays closest to the body in the snatch. Cleans have not been too much trouble, but I have not been lifting as heavy as I did pre-pregnancy. Jerks are my weakest movement by far. It is fun to have a movement to focus on that is easy to perform during pregnancy. Lifting off boxes makes the jerk easy to practice without the bump getting in the way. And weight gain during pregnancy serves to increase the amount drive behind the bar.
I don’t often train upper body movements like dips, presses, pull-ups, ect. except as accessory exercises. During pregnancy it’s easier to focus on upper body workouts because the bump is not part of the equation. In addition, a strong upper back is helpful during the first weeks and months of life of a baby's life when breastfeeding and holding the baby consumes so much of a parent's day.
Finallly, my abdominal muscles have separated significantly in recent weeks. This condition is called diastasis recti. I have suffered from abdominal separation in previous pregnancies. I was able to rehab to the point that the gap between my left and right abdominal wall is about 2 cm which is considered a full recovery, but once my belly started to increase in size my abs started to part ways again. This leads to back pain, and sometimes causes a hernia to develop around the belly button.
What have been your experiences with working out during pregnancy. Are there exercise to help avoid diastasis recti getting worse? What kind of exercises do you like best to keep the back strong and healthy?
Follow Caitlin's pregnancy on instagram @traditionalfoodsmodernlife
Track back to the last pregnancy blog here