Friday, January 6, 2012

Sexy Mama

In light of a new year, I wanted to repost my "How I stayed In Shape While Pregnant" blog post. (I hadn't transferred it from my old website yet) I know quite a few people who are pregnant right now and thought this would be a good time to repost my updated version: 

Please note: I did not write this to make anyone feel bad about themselves or compare... I simply wrote this because when I first found out I was pregnant, I had a lot of people telling me how I was going to get stretch marks, gain tons of weight, etc etc. I was terrified.

I am writing this because I wish someone would have given me a bit of encouragement when I was pregnant and because I want you all to know that you can do things to keep healthy. You can treat your body good and stay fit during your wonderful journey to create a little life. 

I have been asked many times, how I stayed skinny and in shape during and after I had my daughter. For all of you that would like to know, here is what I did.

First off, if you aren't pregnant yet, but are planning on becoming pregnant, get in shape now! It is 10 times easier to maintain than to try and get in shape after you are pregnant or give birth. Trust me, I was in shape before I got pregnant and maintaining my body during pregnancy was a cinch! 

Here I am a year before I had my daughter Scarlett:

And here I am 2 1/2 months, (yes 2 1/2 months) after the birth of my daughter:
So here is what I did:
Make sure you are eating right. I know you have probably heard that a million times. But you need to make sure you are getting the right nutrients for you and the small life inside you. I hate the expression "eating for two" because people assume that means you need double the calories. That is NOT true. Not only will you end up gaining extra weight, but your baby will most likely be bigger, also. If you're at a healthy weight, you need no additional calories in the first trimester, about 300 extra calories a day in the second trimester, and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester. (This is information from my doctor. Please consult your doctor for nutritional instructions.) And those calories should be nutritious.

     I ate from all of the food groups, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and iron-fortified meats. If you do that, then you can also eat that naughty food that you have been craving. I ate a piece of chocolate after every meal while I was pregnant because I craved it. It didn't hurt me because I ate healthy otherwise. I, also, had the occasional sundae. So everything in moderation. 

Did you know that 3 servings of chocolate a week, while you are pregnant, may help reduce the risk of Preeclampsia by 50 percent?!  Read about that HERE.

The only other step I took, was to work out. Whether it was walking or a work-out dvd. My favorite workout was Denise Austin's Fit and Firm Pregnancy Workout. It was great because it was short and sweet; to the point because I was usually in a time crunch. It had workouts for each trimester and a cardio workout. It contained a post pregnancy workout to work on the belly, too. 
     There are all kinds of pregnancy workouts that you can do. Check on I also liked Yoga Mama when I wasn't feeling quite energetic enough to work out. Consistency is the key to any work out goals. I did some type of working out 3 to 4 times a week, whether it was a typical work out or a short walk. Do what feels right for you and listen to your body. Everyone is different. There were days when I had loads of energy and did 3 mile power walks, and other days when I felt soooo tired I could only do a short yoga workout. Just check with your doctor before beginning any work out routine while pregnant.

And then there is the question so many Mama's out there ask me, How did you prevent Stretch Marks? Here's my answer to that. I don't know if it was genes that helped me in that department or the precautions I took, but if I got pregnant again, I would do exactly what I did the first time:

1) I drank lots of water! As much as I could. Your skin needs that hydration to keep it's elasticity. I'm talking 6-8 glasses.
2)  I took my pre-natal vitamins daily & ate a healthy balanced diet for the same reason as above.
3) I rubbed oil on my belly, hips and breasts 3 times a day religiously! There was no forgetting! I started as soon as I found out I was pregnant and continued until a month after she was born. I used oils more than I used lotions. I rubbed them on and let them sink in. It was common to see me in my house with my tank top lifted up and a belly full of shiny oil. But if I was working or couldn't let messy oil sit on my belly to dry, I used lotion. Here are the products I used (alternating) :

Burt's Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Oil (This was my favorite. All natural, dried quickly & smelled great)
Earth Mama Angel Stretch Oil (All Natural but smells a little funny & you have to let dry before dressing)
Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil (Loved this scent best!)
Palmer's Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks (This worked for under clothes)
Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter (Easy for quick application while at work)

4) Last, I maintained a gradual weight gain. If you are eating healthy than this shouldn't be a problem. It is proven that the faster you gain weight during pregnancy, the more likely you will get stretch marks. I followed this Weight Gain Calculator Here

 I did those things. Once Scarlett was born, I didn't work out for a good 5 or 6 months. I relaxed and enjoyed my new baby. I did breastfeed, which melted away my belly in a matter of days it seemed. (I would highly recommend at least trying for many reasons) That's what I did to keep in shape while I was pregnant. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't beat yourself up if you are not where you want to be after birth. Everyone and every pregnancy is different so don't be hard on yourself. This is a time to enjoy! The health of you and that precious baby are the most important things. Just do your best. Some people get back in shape pretty quickly and others, it takes a bit longer. Please feel free to write me with any questions or just thoughts. 

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  1. Wow you look so great! I really enjoyed reading all your tips :)

  2. Succcchhhhh great tips! I'm not planning on getting pregnant any time soon but I'll definitely remember these things when that time comes! You look awesome!! :]

  3. Dang girl! I think you even look in better shape AFTER your daughter! LOVE IT.

  4. Wow you are amazing. I will keep this post in mind! Thank you!

  5. I don't have any kids yet, but I am so glad I read this before being pregnant! I am also a labor and delivery nurse so I found it very interesting! great advice! You look great! :)

  6. Wow. Thanks for posting this! I don't have kids yet, and we're planning on waiting a few more years, but I'm glad to read stuff like this because I am a nervous wreck about going through pregnancy and gaining weight. lol

    You look awesome!

    1. Don't be nervous, just get in shape leading up to getting pregnant as best you can and it will be easier! I promise!

  7. Thank you for this post! I feel so inspired by you, as many of the pregnant women I come into contact with are not super supportive when I say I'm going to go for a jog (ex: "Oh you shouldn't be running! You're pregnant!"; as they constantly eat fast food). Or they tell me I'm eating like a rabbit, because I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I appreciate your great tips and positive message! Thanks again!

    1. Sometimes I feel that women say that so they don't feel bad about not choosing healthy habits themselves. I say, keep on doing what you can and good luck girl!

  8. I had my last child and he came as an C-section. I want to do a routine to start and keep it. I have never had a routine in fitness. How to start fresh.

  9. Thanks u I am 2 months pregnant and have been wondering what workouts to do! U are so much help and should make YouTube videos!

  10. Great tips! I have been doing almost all of these things so far during my pregnancy. I am a little over 6 months and have gained only 15 pounds because of eating healthy and staying fit, even if it is walking. Also, so far no stretch marks. I am glad you posted this so women can read and learn from it! :)

  11. So wait, you got that body 2 and 1/2 months after the baby without working out for 5 or 6 months after giving birth? If that's the case, that's incredible! I myself am 23 weeks along with our first baby boy, and you are an inspiration to me!

    1. Thank you Nina. I really attribute that to being fit before giving birth and to breastfeeding. I really believe that staying in shape before and during pregnancy is so important!

  12. Great info! Staying healthy in pregnancy is so important for you and baby!


Thank you for all your comments & kind words!! I reply in the comments section so check back if you have a question :) xo