If you aren’t considered “at risk” for a complicated delivery, chances are that your obstetrician or midwife has told you exercising while pregnant is the healthy thing to do. Now, you might not actually feel like working up a sweat once you’re deep into the first trimester and plagued by fatigue, nausea and other fun things—but exercise might make you feel better, believe it or not! (Personally, the days the Morning Sickness Fairy seemed to forget about me were always days I went for a run or did some cardio at the gym.) Plus, exercise during pregnancy can prevent excess weight gain and help treat or prevent gestational diabetes.
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, or already have passed that home pregnancy test with flying colors, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to grow a healthy baby. That means quitting smoking and drinking, exercising in moderation, eating a healthy diet—and taking a prenatal vitamin every day.
I remember the joy of seeing those two pink lines show up on my pregnancy test, the first conclusive evidence that I was having a baby!!…but then, a few days later, being extremely concerned that I didn’t feel especially “different,” considering I was growing a brand-new human being inside my body! But I had no reason to worry—by week six, I was puking and gagging like any other typical pregnant woman.
Some women call stretch marks “badges of honor.” But when I first noticed bright reddish purple streaks on my hips towards the end of my first pregnancy, I can’t say I felt particularly honored. A healthy baby is enough commemoration for me, thank you very much!
Time helped fade my once-bright marks to thin, silvery grooves, but I still wanted a little help airbrushing their existence—and preventing more of them from cropping up when I was pregnant again (and again) with my first badge of honor’s younger siblings.
After much trial and error, here’s what worked for me:
A new baby is a bundle of joy—there’s no doubt about it. But those squiggly, purplish lines left running across your once even-toned skin after Sweetie’s tucked safely in your arms? Not so much. A reader recently asked if there’s anything she could do to make her stretch marks disappear.
When you’re pregnant, suddenly everything in life is about the baby. You probably used to eat foods that you liked. Now, what you’re eating is “womb service” for that little growing sprout, so you choose your foods with care. (Or perhaps you just choose cheese fries—we won’t judge.)
Sleeping isn’t just about recovering from a long day—now it’s about getting enough zzz’s to grow a healthy baby (and perhaps experiencing some bizarre dreams…I can’t be the only one who dreamed she gave birth to a maimed Cabbage Patch Doll.)
Six years ago when I was pregnant with our now 5-year-old son Phoenix, I had the best pregnancy ever, as far as my health and the health of my baby were concerned. But Sisters, I was sick as a dog, and I couldn’t sleep to save my life.
I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t feeling uncomfortable because of my belly. I wasn’t fearful. I was A-W-A-K-E. Every night. All night. For three months straight. For my entire last trimester.
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