Pregnancy is one of the most amazing yet difficult things I have ever been through. It's the coolest thing in the world feeling this little bean jump around inside of you (or in my case two beans) but as the days go on, it becomes increasingly difficult to live the same life you were living before pregnancy. Ahh, the joys of almost motherhood! You're tired, your back hurts, you need a pickle immediately or the rest of your day will be ruined, oh and nothing fits the way it used to. But wait! There are a few things that I have discovered that you can do to help ease the angst of pregnancy! Some of these may sound basic, but I'm telling you they have made all the difference for me.
My number one "you must do this every other day" tip is to EXERCISE. Ok let's be real though...first trimester there was not a lot of this happening. But as you ease into the second trimester and those icky morning sickness symptoms begin to lift; this is really the best time to get moving. What have I been doing during my pregnancy? My go to form of exercise has been a workout DVD by Tracy Anderson (celebrity trainer) called The Pregnancy Project. She takes you through each month of your pregnancy with a totally different workout. All you need are three pound weights and a lot of water. This not only gets your heart rate up, but it makes you feel strong and toned. I highly recommend this inexpensive yet extremely thorough workout! Below is a video demonstration of Tracy’s exercise routine.
On the days I don't feel up to this, I simply go outside when possible and take a walk. If you want to prevent swelling and broken capillaries on your legs, you have to keep moving!
My next piece of advice is also simple, but highly overlooked by women in pregnancy; watch what you eat. I have people coming up to me daily saying things like “oh you're too good, you should just eat whatever you want when you're pregnant." No, no, and again no!
This is the worst advice anyone can give you! I am pregnant with twins and I can definitively tell you that I do not eat much more than I did before. I graze on my meals during the day, and I try really hard to make them as balanced as possible. For instance, I start the day with a protein, fruit and some sort of healthy carb. I love Ezekiel bread with a little nut butter, scrambled eggs with tomatoes and a side of strawberries. It's simple, it's nutrient packed, and it's EASY. I reserve the weekends for junk food. And I drink water by the gallon! I also have been supplementing sugar with something called Xylitol. It literally has replaced table sugar in my sugar bowl, and I bake with it often! It's a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants, and can be eaten by those who are diabetic as well. It tastes delicious and will keep your blood sugar in check. Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat whatever you want! If you're nervous about getting stretch marks then this applies to you even more so!
So not only should you watch what you eat, but you should be mindful of the things you drink. Like I previously mentioned, water is my go to beverage. However, I also think it's important to incorporate nourishing hot teas into my routine. My two favorite ones for pregnancy are Nettles Tea and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Why are they so great? Well let's start with the Nettles... it's loaded with essential nutrients that we tend to lack during pregnancy such as calcium, magnesium and most importantly iron! Yes this tea is amazing at preventing anemia in us moms to be! It's caffeine free and mild tasting. Red Raspberry Leaf tea is next up, with so many amazing benefits it's going to be hard to name them all! It not only helps to ease the dreaded morning sickness, but it actually strengthens your uterine and pelvic floors muscles, assists with breast milk supply, strengthens the mother's immune system, and promotes better circulation. Amazing... amazing... amazing! Drink these daily and you and your baby will benefit tremendously.