In this series, Fit To Be Pregnant is highlighting inspirational mamas from around the globe and how they made their pregnancies fit, comfortable, and healthy. If you’d like to be be featured, get in touch! We’d love to have you!
Today’s Fit Pregnancy Profile features Ashley, who was motivated during pregnancy to stay healthy for her baby girl, who is now 5 months old! (and so stinkin’ cute!!)
Describe your food choices during your healthy pregnancy.
I kept my eating relatively the same as normal. I tried to eat more nuts, smoothies, chia seeds than I did normally. I also had to add in more protein to help keep me full. In a typical day I had overnight oats with fruit and chia seeds for breakfast, a muffin or toast for snack, salads/wraps for lunch, granola bars etc. for snack, and chicken, rice, veggies for supper. I also allowed myself more treats as I craved them, I tried to keep it in balance though. (I loved cinnamon buns when I was pregnant but I would only buy 1, not a whole pack! And luckily I didn’t have those cravings too often)
Describe your exercise routine during your healthy pregnancy.
I tried to do something every day even if it was only a walk. I noticed I got very stiff when I wasn’t active. I did prenatal yoga once a week, a circuit from Fit To Be Pregnant every second day, and went on my elliptical or for a walk on the alternate days. My doctor wanted me to stop running, so I quit at the beginning of my pregnancy.
What was your greatest obstacle to staying healthy during your pregnancy, and how did you overcome it?
Being tired!! I tried to remind myself how much better I felt after exercise and that it actually gave me more energy.
What motivated you to exercise and eat healthy food during your pregnancy? How did you manage when you didn’t feel motivated?
My motivation was that I would feel better throughout my pregnancy and bounce back quicker after. I also had read lots about the positive effects on your baby so that made me want to be healthy for my baby. If I had an off day I let myself know it was ok and tried to get back on track.
Did you allow yourself to give in to any cravings?
I did give in to cravings, but to be honest it didn’t happen that often. I typically craved healthy foods which I hope came from listening to my body. But if I really wanted something I would have one! But just one 😉
What was your birth plan? How did your healthy lifestyle factor in to your hopes for birth?
I tried not to have a birth plan because I had no idea what to expect and didn’t want to feel disappointed in myself if it didn’t go the way I planned. I had a natural labor with no interventions. My water broke the day before but I was completely comfortable, no contractions. Things started happening late the next morning and I only pushed a few times it felt like! It was soo much easier than what I was anticipating. I think my prenatal yoga really helped me with the breathing and envisioning positive things throughout labor. I think different exercises I had done helped give me the strength to push. I definitely think exercise helped me get out of bed and feel ok and helped me to not feel bad in the days that followed. I had such a great experience I probably annoyed people around me wanting to talk about my birth story to everyone!
How long did it take you to bounce back after birth?
It took me longer to bounce back than I imagined. I thought because I felt so good right up until the day I went into labor that would be the worst of it. It took weeks for the swelling to go down from my stitches which made it too hard to go for walks etc. I wanted to get back into shape but making time for working out was hard with a clingy baby and I had so little energy from lack of sleep.
One area I struggled with was a healthy lifestyle after baby arrived. I wanted to eat healthy for breastfeeding but craved the worst foods and caved for the convenience. It was really hard to make good choices when you are soo tired!!
Were you leading a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy, or did pregnancy inspire you to become healthier?
I had a healthy lifestyle before getting pregnant which I tried to maintain and I tried to eat healthier for the baby.
What was your favorite thing to eat during pregnancy?
Hmm I’m not sure! Probably Greek salad (healthy) and cinnamon buns (not!)
What is your proudest accomplishment of your pregnancy?
I was so proud of working out right until the end- I did one of your circuits the day before my water broke and a long walk the day my water broke. I was also very proud that being active helped me to feel great and I never experienced the “I’m so done with being pregnant” feeling.
What advice do you have for other moms who want to have a fit and healthy pregnancy?
My advice is to do it to help you feel good throughout your pregnancy, it will give you energy and help you deal with aches and pains! It will pay off and you will be so glad you did.
What book, website, person inspired you to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy, or did you find useful?
You and your website! [note from Deanna – Awww, shucks, thank you Ashley]
What was your favorite product that helped you stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy?
Probably workout clothes that helped me feel like myself and comfortable. I hated the prenatal exercise DVD I bought, it felt like it was way too easy. (Which is why I loved your website)
Did anyone judge you or say anything negative about your exercise routine during pregnancy?
Sort of- my doctor told me to quit running at the beginning and only do low impact things like walking and yoga. I did quit running but I continued to do things with jumping, I researched it and felt like if it didn’t feel good I would quit. Lots of people made comments to me that I should be bigger, which stressed me out. I was a small baby and am not a big person so I also had a small but perfectly healthy baby.
How did you feel about your body during pregnancy? Were you excited about the changes, or was it difficult for you to deal with? How did you deal with those feelings?
I would say most of the time I felt good about my body. A lot of changes in a short amount of time can be hard so I definitely had days I didn’t feel good but for the most part I was positive about it. I would say taking pictures helps because when you look at them you realize you don’t look as big as you feel! And being active helped me still feel like myself. Also, actually listen when people tell you you look good. Women are often terrible about not being able to accept compliments and I think we need to.
What was the one thing you did for yourself during pregnancy that you would recommend to anyone else who is expecting?
I definitely think being active but not putting too much pressure on yourself for labor or how you think your pregnancy should go. I think a lot of things you can’t control!