I would like to say that pregnancy doesn’t have to change the way that you live in terms of exercise and eating… but the reality is that most of the time that just isn’t true.

In my opinion, there is no reason (as long as you have a safe pregnancy and the “okay” from your doctor) that woman need to fall into the unhealthy zone when they are pregnant. I get it, it’s hard and exhausting to grow a baby. But I promise, making even small changes will help you feel better during and after pregnancy.

Before reading this, know that I think ALL women are gorgeous and amazing when they are pregnant. It is a beautiful gift that we get to bear and this is not about being in perfect shape and trying to the most in-shape and toned pregnant women alive. That just isn’t real life for most women, and that’s okay! This is about how you feel on the inside and much less about how you look on the outside.

prenatal exercise

There are plenty of things that I try to do to stay healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle during my pregnancy.

Health and Pregnancy

I have seen a ton of articles recently that have a lot of controversy. Most of these articles are focusing on mom’s who are in extremely good shape with multiple children or women who are pregnant and still very toned and take care of themselves. From what I gather, half of women love and support these women for what they have worked to accomplish or maintain, and the other half of women think that they are bragging and that they focus too much on themselves during motherhood or pregnancy. I would love to know what you think!

Obviously, my personal feelings lean towards the side of supporting these women taking care of themselves and trying to remain healthy while they are growing another little person (or persons in my case). I am proud of the fact that I can still see some muscle definition in my upper abdomen because it mean I am healthy AND growing two humans. It isn’t about bragging, it isn’t a “who looks better pregnant” issue, it’s a “I’m staying healthy for myself and my babies while I am pregnant, and that’s great!” It makes me excited to stay healthy and strong because it gives me that little boost on days when I just need to sit and do nothing (and I have PLENTY of those). These are the goals that I set for myself, and I think it’s important that everyone sets realistic goals to keep themselves in a healthy mindset.

healthy pregnancy

It isn’t easy, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle, pregnant or not, takes work, just like anything else.

Before you get angry or think that I have an easy pregnancy and it’s not the same for some people, let me clarify, because this post is meant to help not hurt.

I have a fibroid that’s about the size of two apples sitting next to each other inside of my uterus, along with the two babies I am carrying. This causes a lot of pain, a uterus that is growing almost double the speed, which also means a belly that is growing the same, and a lot of sleepless nights already. I was really sick for the first trimester and I am still not over that completely. I am absolutely exhausted and I chase two little ones around all day as well. (You can read more updates here)

I will be the first to say that I almost threw in the towel in my first three months of this twin pregnancy. Once my midwife told me that the average growth for twins was 40 lbs, I about lost all desire to try to stay somewhat fit and stay on track with my eating habits. But, I didn’t.

Being pregnant does NOT mean being unhealthy.

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So what do I to try to stay healthy while carrying to babies and managing my household as well?

  • Find a light exercise routine that works for you: You don’t have to push yourself to lift crazy amounts of weight or do really intense High Intensity Interval Training workouts. Find something that you enjoy doing, that makes you feel better, and try to do it at least 3 times a week. It doesn’t even have to be an hour-long exercise routine. Just do something to get moving and get some energy flowing through your body. Go for a walk! It will not only help your mood and energy, that is always lacking while pregnant, but it will help to make your labor and your recovery much easier after giving birth to your precious gift(s). I choose to do an intermediate yoga practice as well as some light weight training and lifting exercises. But they are all modified to be easier on my body. Always wearing my Toe Talk socks🙂 prenatal yoga
  • Try not to just eat whatever is around: Pregnancy comes with cravings for all kinds of things. It also comes with nausea that makes women have food aversions to things we would otherwise normally eat. That doesn’t mean that we should just binge eat on junk food and things that aren’t really that great for us. Eating that will only decrease the little energy that you have. If you aren’t feeling that well, find something at least decently healthy that doesn’t make you sick. If you are having aversions to everything, which is my problem, figure out the few healthy food items that don’t make you want to gag. For me, this happens to be carrots, nuts, cottage cheese, oatmeal, smoothies and fresh fruit. If ever I’m not feeling well but need to eat, I can reach for one of these and not feel terrible about what I just ate and I also don’t get sick from forcing myself to eat something I really did not want. I cannot stand most meat right now, so I have to find my protein in other things, but there are plenty of options out there! Just find what works for you:) protein oatmeal
  • Do it for the right reasons: I stay healthy and try to remain healthy throughout my pregnancy because of the way it makes me feel. It gives me energy, it doesn’t make me feel even more sluggish than I already do, and I know that my labor and delivery will be easier for me this way. I also want my family to stay healthy while I’m pregnant and continue to set a good example for them. Not to mention, what you do and put in your body is effecting the lives you are growing. I want my babies to be getting the best nutrition I can offer and be growing inside a body that is healthy and strong. Don’t compare yourself to other mom’s who are so tiny when they are pregnant or who don’t gain weight anywhere it seems. I am NOT a  person in general and that’s okay with me. Do things because they make you feel healthy, it isn’t a competition to see who can look the best or gain the least amount when pregnant.

Take these tips and adjust them to what works for you. I’m not preaching at you and telling you to stay away from all junk food and never take a break. Girl, if you want that ice cream, EAT IT! If you need some time to just relax, please DO THAT! Everything in moderation. To me, healthy and happy are one in the same, pregnant or not.

Whew… this is something I am obviously passionate about. I just want women to know that you are beautiful in pregnancy no matter what your size is, and you can also feel healthy in pregnancy no matter what your size is. What are your thoughts on all of this?

*Here’s to keeping our bodies healthy and happy for our healthy and happy babies*

joanna at motherhood and merlot