I love being pregnant; having the miracle of life growing inside me. However, I’d be lying if I said I also loved how it changes my body; I rather dislike it. Probably the thing that bothers me the most about being pregnant is all the attention on me, specifically how I “look”. I get all sorts of comments on how “big” I am, ranging anywhere from, “Oh you’re just a darling little toothpick with a cute little basketball attached to you!” to “Oh my, you look about ready to pop!” (And I’ve still got a few months!)
I know that my body has been “beautifully made” and it is truly an amazing thing to watch how it changes and adapts to compensate for the little being developing and growing in me. But it’s hard to ignore the stretch marks shooting across my belly, hips and…ahem…other places. When I was a little girl I remember watching the old ladies at swimming pools walk by and promising myself I would never have legs like theirs; yet, here I am, saggy, wrinkly, flappy thighs and all. You can imagine my horror when I was trying some clothes on in a dressing room a few weeks back and noticed the veins that had popped out and started crawling all over my legs. I had to stifle a scream. My only consolation is that my kids think my veins are really “cool”.
I have no allusions of being a ”skinny” or even ”trim” cute little pregnant woman; let’s face it, those two words and pregnancy just don’t go together. I prefer “healthy” and “toned” for my exercise and “self-image” goals in pregnancy (and also when I’m not pregnant). I have found these goals to be much more realistic and therefore attainable. I’m no expert or health professional but I know that regular exercise during pregnancy is just as important as it is before and after. For me I see this as important not only to have a healthy pregnancy but also for a healthy labor, birth and post-partum time, and it probably benefits the baby for me to healthy too. As soon as I find out I’m pregnant, I go into “training mode” except instead of training for a 5K or marathon I’m trying for labor and birth.
I like to mix up my exercise routines between toning, cardio, relaxation work and ”baby-positioning” techniques. P.S. I like to exercise both in and out of the house, whatever is most convenient. I try and go the Y 1 – 2 times a week to walk and do weights, this past Saturday I did some laps in the pool and it was fantastical; I loved being able to just float with my belly down, so liberating.
At home, I’ve used an assortment of work-out videos in the basement. My kids love going down there with me to “exercise”, which for them usually means watching mama and the “exercise lady”. Before pregnancy I discovered Leslie Sanson and her Walk Away the Pounds series and have really enjoyed these workouts.
I have continued using this one I got as a gift for Christmas on and off again throughout the pregnancy though not quite as much here lately because I’ve been lazy. Her workouts are so simple and I love her realistic approach to exercise and body image.
If you go through that playlist, you might laugh when you see the last video I included for some belly dancing for pregnancy. Aside from how belly dancing might help encourage good fetal positioning for birth, this video (and others like it) can provide some high quality entertainment and a good laugh a day keeps the epidural away…or at least might help provide some much needed comic relief during pregnancy and labor. ;)
Lastly, aside from the toning, cardio and hip-opening/baby-positioning workouts, I love doing yoga in pregnancy. If there was only one form of exercise I did during pregnancy it would be yoga. I don’t care about all the mumbo-jumbo part spirituality part of yoga, only how it helps me work my body while also relaxing…a very important skill to have when trying to get a baby out a seemingly impossible exit. (Even after doing it 3 times I still have a hard time believing it’s really possible.) Anyway, I discovered this Yoga Journal and Lamaze yoga for pregnancy video with my last pregnancy and really like it.
There’s no crazy stuff, just simple and relaxing yoga for pregnancy. It includes a 30 minute “Energizing & Strengthening” workout, a 15 minute “Relaxing & Rejuvenating” practice as well as some “Birthing-Room yoga techniques that were very helpful with my last birth. There are also some breathing and meditation segments that I honestly haven’t paid attention to.
Now, for the **GIVE-AWAY** part of this post!
So I somehow ended up with 2 copies of this Yoga DVD, both of them have been gently used but are still in very good condition. If you would like to win this extra DVD simply enter your name in the comments below. If you’d like your name to be added into the drawing twice for higher winning chances add a comment about your favorite prenatal workout along with your name.
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT MONDAY, MAY 21!