Guest blog from Sia Cooper: The Truth About Pregnancy Part One

Thank you so much to Sia for sharing this blog post with bump2mumfitness.com. Read more over at her blog Diary of a Fit Mommy, for more recipes and workout ideas.

 
Pregnancy is an awesome thing.
 
It’s probably the most amazing and beautiful thing I’ve ever been through. Think about it. You spend all this time creating another HUMAN that you get to carry around with you in your belly for almost a year!
 
I am officially halfway through and I have a lot to say about pregnancy-the good, the bad, and the truth! Granted, I have thankfully had a very easy pregnancy so far-I have not been sick hardly any. But there are some other side effects of pregnancy that people don’t tend to tell you!

These are my truths about the first half of pregnancy


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Pregnancy is not 9, but 10 months long!

I am not entirely sure or why they say “9 months” but technically, pregnancy begins right after your last menstrual period-two weeks before you actually conceive. Most women’s pregnancy last a duration or 40 weeks or ten months. So when you get to 9 months, and dont go into labor just yet-dont fret! 9 months or 36 weeks just means you have reached full term and that its “ok” to deliver at any time.
 
Ouch! My butt hurts!
No, I am not talking about hemorrhoids-another health issue women tend to deal with during pregnancy (thats said to come way later). I am talking about Sciatic pain! Oh boy, this is a lot of fun. Try walking or sitting or laying with a twinge of pain starting in either or both butt cheeks that run down your leg! As baby grows, they put pressure on your sciatic nerve, which starts at both buttocks and runs downward towards your calf muscles. It can not only cause pain, but numbness and tingling. This only lasted 3-4 weeks with me and it went away shortly after. 
 
Whoops! That was a smelly one!
This makes me laugh to even think about writing. 
Have you ever heard that all pregnant women fart… alot? Guess how true that is? VERY TRUE! Embarrassing, yes, but thanks to the slowed digestion to increase nutrient absorption during pregnancy, this increases gas-and lots of it! My poor husband, he must really love me to be able to sit near me sometimes! You honestly cannot help it. There is nothing you can do to stop it either! Have fun!
 
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Did you just poke me!?

The first time I felt my baby kick was right at 16 weeks. I was not too sure at first because it was only a one time thing-I did not feel it again that day. But it was a feeling I have never felt before. I was laying on my tummy, texting my family-this was a couple hours after finding out he was a BOY! I was very excited and happy. And then, I felt a little poke from the inside! It was very strange. Some women says it feels like gas, but not to me. I was very sure it was him. A few days later, I felt the same thing. A few days later, I would feel it a couple times a day, getting stronger and stronger. Now, at 19 weeks and 2 days, I feel it several times a day! Sometimes, they are such strong little pokes that they catch me off guard. My husband has been able to feel the movement with his hands a couple of times so far. It is the most amazing feeling ever. Now I feel it when I laugh, eat, and talk.

 
Flat by morning, HUGE by night
This is probably the strangest phenomenon I have ever experienced! Throughout your first half of pregnancy, you will notice that no matter what month you are, you will wake up with a flat tummy and go to bed looking 6 months pregnant. I still had visible abs at 4 months pregnant! Now, at around 5 months, I have developed a real bump that I wake up with now. I remember waking up one morning in tears because I thought my baby was shrinking! But surely enough like clockwork, with everything I ate and drank throughout the day, my bump slowly formed and came back. This is just due to a lot of water retention throughout pregnancy! You will know its the real thing when you wake up with it. Instead of it doing a disappearing act.
 

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My boobs are on FIRE!!

Your breasts start growing the moment those HCG hormones start rolling in. And guess what?
THEY DONT STOP!
They grow so much that they no longer fit in anything you own! Say hello to new bras. Target has amazing and comfy nursing bras that are inexpensive that I would suggest. My biggest piece of advice is to sleeping in a supportive bra, because if you dont, your breasts will feel like they are on fire! The pain subsides a little in the 2nd trimester, but still hurts me at 19 weeks.
 
“I will take a pizza, sushi, fries, ice cream, and a cheeseburger, please?”
Yes! Food cravings are true. At least in the first trimester. I had no sickness so I was able to eat and crave things. I did not crave sweets very much, but I did crave CHEESE and SUSHI. I had to have it. I craved it so much that if I did not get it when I wanted it-my whole night was ruined! Yup. Thank youuuuu, hormones! They can turn you into a bitch if you are not one already. However, I controlled mine pretty well. Sometimes, I dont even feel pregnant! But according to what I hear, its a rarity to not get sick. I credit it to my staying health, gym going, and clean eating.
 
But I must eat for 2!
NO-you do not. Biggest myth ever. Yes, you are hungry and having cravings, but you must remember that everything you eat-baby eats too. That does not mean you need double. You should only take in 300 extra cals the first tri, 300 the second tri, and 500 in the 3rd tri and when you are nursing. This myth has been the cause of unnecessary weight gain and makes it that much harder for the baby weight to fall off. I am 19 weeks and my weight gain is at 3lbs. I eat around 2,300 cals a day and workout 4-5 times a week. I do eat clean but I do have my cheat day once a week!
 
I gotta go potty
Ahhh you and the potty will get very acquainted. My biggest tip? Do not drink fluids one hour before bedtime, and make sure you go to the bathroom right before you jump into bed. Dont get me wrong- you will still go several times a night, but it makes it one trip less. 

Maria Kang “what’s your excuse?” photo, she’s got a good point!

Maria is all across the TV this morning with her controversial photo, which shows her with a flat tummy and amazing body with her 3 children. All credit to her this is very clever PR (probably carefully planned for maximum exposure) and has got her worldwide coverage!

She shouldn’t be getting so much criticism though, she is a hard working mum who has prioritised her fitness and her body, setting a great example to her kids.

From my own experience I know that you don’t have to sacrifice time with your children to exercise. If you are motivated you can fit it in around them. But it is hard work, which is why most women don’t bother. Don’t blame her for taking control and looking amazing!

I lost all my baby weight in 2 weeks with both of my daughters with sensible eating and exercise at home, following my exercise plan, the 3-plan. Make having a child the time you become a healthier, fitter, more confident woman and your whole family will benefit.

Here is my photo after 12 weeks after baby number 2 – my plan really does work!

12 weeks after baby

Nell McAndrew certainly not afraid of working out in pregnancy – wow!

Nell McAndrew has exclusively revealed her second pregnancy to HELLO! magazine. (Check it out now!)

No stranger to exercises – the model is 20 weeks pregnant and is keeping up her fitness regime by running six miles a day along with twice-weekly gym sessions!

You have probably realised by now that I advocate exercise in pregnancy 🙂 This story from Nell is a great example of how pre-pregnancy fitness levels inform how much activity you can do when you are expecting. A super fit 39 year old mum of one Nell was running 90 miles a week and was a seasoned long distance runner before she became pregnant again. In her case the amount of exercise she is doing is fine as long as she feels ok and makes sure she builds in some rest time. Also, that she listens to her body and tapers of her sessions a bit later on in her pregnancy. I say – well done Nell! Another fit mum changing preconceptions, I hope your pregnancy is a happy, healthy one.

Just remember if you aren’t as fit as Nell (and most of us aren’t), you will need to set your pregnancy exercise levels according to YOUR fitness and individual pregnancy circumstances x

Trimester 3 pregnancy exercise tips – thanks Reese!

What a great role model Reese Witherspoon is! (Daily Mail) It’s great to see celebrities setting a good example and keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy. This is why so many of them get back into shape so quickly – not magic! Just a sensible consistent exercise plan (and probably very healthy diet) during pregnancy! Reese is in the later stage of her pregnancy now so would have gradually reduced the duration and intensity of her workouts over the last few months. Here’s a few other pointers for trimester 3 exercise:

  • It’s really important not to stop exercising in trimester 3; all those hard earned benefits to you and your baby will be lost!
  • be mindful of your changing body and growing bump
  • Keep moves slow and controlled
  • Avoid standing or laying still for long periods
  • Keep transitions (from standing to floor) slow and measured
  • You may want to consider some lower impact alternatives if your normal moves are becoming too hard
  • Remember you should be able to hold a conversation while working out – you are not training for a personal best!
  • Always listen to your body and stop exercising if anything doesn’t feel right
  • Try and continue with a combination of light cardio and resistance training to keep your muscles fit and strong
  • Try and work your core and pelvic floor daily
  • Not long to go now! Try and find some time to relax too and mentally prepare for the exciting events ahead. Good luck x
For an exercise plan developed for all 3 trimesters of pregnancy and 9 months after you have had your baby (to get you looking even better than before!) check out The 3-Plan: Your Complete Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Plan.

New mums all lose their baby weight at different rates

I am all about health and fitness during pregnancy and for new mums, but there is no escaping the fact that we are all built differently and our bodies will grow and change and adapt to carrying a baby in different ways.

Some girls have tiny bumps, other are big all over. Some will be left with a huge tummy and some will be left with a wobbly bum. Some will be left with hardly any weight at all!

My advice would be to exercise during pregnancy, particularly keeping your core strong, other muscles fit and toned and heart and lungs fit and healthy with cardio exercise. Also, to not eat excessively, just consuming a couple of hundred extra calories a day in the last trimester (and a bit more if you are exercising). That way, however your body responds you have the best possible chance of losing your baby weight quickly. If you do nothing at all during pregnancy you are probably going to have a harder time getting back into shape afterwards.

This is aside from all the amazing benefits this will bring you and your baby, compared to inactive and overweight mums.

Personally I think she looks amazing now and she is absolutely right not to model herself on anyone else. For the record I also think Amanda Holden looks incredible and I’m not sure that ‘it’s in her genes’ as Jodie says. I bet she did lots of clever exercise throughout her pregnancy and as soon as she could afterwards – you don’t get results like that by magic!

Lets not try to be like anyone else and be happy and healthy in our own skins.