Sure, it’s one of the most exciting times of your life. The moment you see the double line, you’re filled with exhilaration and start planning and imagining how your life is about to change. You vow that no matter what, you will protect and devote your life for the little person growing inside you.
And then you start hearing and reading all about morning sickness (that actually lasts all day), hormonal changes, bloating, heartburn, shortness of breath, leg cramps, exhaustion, stretch marks… you name it. And then there are things less discussed, and others that you might stumble across along the way. So there you go, these are 3 things that I happened to stumble across and figure out on my own:
- What exercises can I do when I’m pregnant? And when do I start?
So yes we all know that exercise is good for you. You hear about it and its benefits during pregnancy, and how it makes for an easier recovery postnatally. But what exercises should you do?
During my early pregnancy while doing my daily sit ups, all of a sudden I felt faint and dizzy, only to find out later on that not only are sit ups not recommended, but can in fact lead to miscarriage! That was when I decided to look for antenatal personal training for guided safe pregnancy exercise, and I met an amazing fitness professional and midwife Donna at Sydney Aquanatal. (See the interview here)
I must say it was the best decision I had ever made. In between my full job, conferences, travelling, volunteering for Young Optometrists NSW, collaborating and scheduling photoshoots, and organising events, it has helped me immensely throughout in keeping a healthy posture, active lifestyle, eliminating repetitive strain from work, and just releasing stress in general and maintaining my wellbeing.
- Should I go out and splurge on maternity clothes?
The answer in short is no. You won’t need them till you start to pop at around 5-6 months, and you’ll never wear them after you give birth. Investing in 3 maternity pants (especially work pants if you’re working throughout your pregnancy) or jeans, maternity yoga pants, and a couple loose tops was all I needed. I resorted to wearing loose/oversized tops or dresses that are also wearable during non-pregnancy.
- Love your pregnant body
This is the time when your body goes through dramatic changes at a rate faster than your mind is probably willing to accept. To add the icing on the cake, people will start commenting things like “oh you look tired”, “wow your belly is huge!”, “have you gained weight?”, “you look good…for a pregnant woman”.
Well, yes I do look tired, because my body is creating a baby. My belly looks huge? Now, that’s a shock…I had no idea, maybe because there’s a baby inside? Some days you will feel exhausted and unattractive, and others you will feel like you have the energy of a thousand suns exposing that pregnancy glow (or you may not and that’s ok). But there is beauty and a sense of pride that comes with all these changes that only you will know. The connection you build with your growing belly, baby kicking, and all the other changes is but a reflection of love and a symbol of sacrifice you are willing to make for a little human you haven’t even met yet. Love your pregnant body. Wear it with pride. Embrace it.
Disclaimer: Each pregnancy is unique and this is by no means a guide and it is not necessarily applicable to your pregnancy, it is simply a recount of my experience.