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My Pregnancy and Postpartum Fitness Journey – From Belly to Body

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Pregnancy is definitely a period of transformation. This period is characterized by excitement, fear, anticipation, and many changes – physical and mental.

For many women, physical activity during and after pregnancy means the unknown, and some of them are scared of it. For me, this was an opportunity to better connect with my body mentally and physically.

Fitness and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Like many women, I was afraid even though I was a pretty active person before I found out I was pregnant. I started my studies in the field of exercise and nutrition during pregnancy in the first trimester due to a lack of information, misinformed doctors, and trainers.

My greatest concern was gestational diabetes and ceasing exercise because I had issues with insulin resistance a few years prior. Naturally, there are a few things an expecting mom should be aware of before continuing her training. It is crucial that you speak with your doctor and that they verify the pregnancy is normal before you continue your routine of physical activity.

Keep in mind that it is very important to monitor your body and your heart rate. You have to know when to stop. Before pregnancy, I did squats with 120 kg, but during pregnancy, the maximum was 6 kg. Why? Because I know that even then I was responsible for a new life.

Persistence Through the Challenges of Pregnancy Training

Persistence AND Pregnancy Training - stay on track and motivated

This was a challenging time for me to exercise. I had no support because nobody in my environment knew enough about pregnancy fitness. I made all of my decisions based only on intuition. My partner was the only person who gave me support. My trainer was among the people who misunderstood me, along with my parents, sister, entire family, and friends.

I am a very stubborn person by nature, and I felt that the training had more positive than negative influence on both me and the baby. My mother used to accompany me to the gym so she could watch me perform the exercises. Even though I was under a lot of pressure, exercising allowed me to escape reality. In that one hour at the gym, I was working on the brain-body connection.

When I entered the 6th month of pregnancy, they kicked me out of the gym where I trained because they didn’t want to bear the ‘’consequences’’. I didn’t let any of that upset me, though.

Rather than giving up, it provided me the motivation I needed to launch my Instagram account and begin educating people about the advantages of exercising while pregnant. I heard a lot of hateful remarks about how it would hurt my child and other things, but I felt I was doing the right thing.


Benefits of Training During Pregnancy

  • Physical activity improves mood. They help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety during pregnancy because endorphins are released during training.
  • It reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • It helps in balanced weight gain.
  • Improves circulation.
  • It helps in reducing pain. It will never happen that your back hurts if you have regular physical activity.
  • Encourages faster recovery after childbirth.

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Nutrition - Fitness journey for your and your babies health
Baked chicken drumstick and red potatoes, green salad. Only olive oil is used to make it healthier. Nutritionally rich, it contains balanced proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In order not to overeat, eat the salad first, then the meat and the potatoes

It doesn’t matter if you are pregnant, working out, etc., be aware that nutrition is still 80%. The most important thing that women should know is that they should never eat for two. This misinformation has led many women to excessive obesity during pregnancy, and even to some health problems.

We should all remember that we are much stronger than hormones, whether we want to admit that or not. It is easy to convince ourselves that we eat twice as much during PMS, and even easier that we can eat whatever we want and as much as we want during pregnancy. We are convincing ourselves that everything we eat, our baby also eats.

However, whilst you consider the truth that the baby weighs 3-4 kg on common, and the woman gains 20 kg extra, you recognize that this isn’t always the case in any respect. Therefore, it’s very important how we feed ourselves at some stage in pregnancy.

However, this was easy for me. I changed my habits and started eating healthy long before pregnancy and I understood that I should maintain them during this phase as well.

With a balanced diet and training, I gained normal weight, I had no risk of gestational diabetes or hypertension. The secret of a balanced weight loss plan without overeating is a good breakfast. If you start the day right, the entirety may be properly for you with the aid of the end of the day. The most important issue is to hold the blood sugar instability without sudden drops and jumps.

Because when it comes to that, we immediately reach for carbs and sweets. Believe it or not, I was a pregnant woman who never ate a pancake during my pregnancy. My family used to buy me sweets I love the most just so I would eat them. And I can’t lie, I used to eat for example one piece of chocolate or one piece of cake.

But the key is in the balance. If our meals and days are balanced, one chocolate does not mean anything. My goal was a healthy baby without a predisposition to obesity.

How Did Fitness During Pregnancy Affect Me?

How Did Fitness During Pregnancy Affect Me - mind and body benefits

I was much more relaxed and happy. My body did go through a lot of changes, but I gained only 15kg during the whole pregnancy. I maintained my muscle mass, I had no problems with gestational diabetes or hypertension.

The only “bad” thing is that women who train and do squats during pregnancy, strengthen the pelvic floor and may not give birth on the due date. But that is nothing compared to possible potential health problems.

How Did Pregnancy Fitness Affect My Baby?

How Did Pregnancy Fitness Affect My Baby - health and benefits

Luka is 9 months old, he is walking, doing squats, and doing everything that I did during the whole 9 months. His motor skills are excellent. Believe it or not, what the mother does and how the mother feels while the baby is in the womb are strongly related.

Increased secretion of happiness hormones during and after training had a positive effect on the baby in the sense that Luka never really cried. He is slim, there is no risk of increased fat cells in his body because I took care of my health.

Postpartum Journey

I thought that pregnancy would be the most difficult period for me, but the postpartum period was the most difficult. I gave birth by cesarean section and when it comes to recovery, I had no major problems. I got up after two days, and I was able to do squats after 5.

When you want to return to the gym it’s important to consult your doctor. When you search the internet and even when you ask some doctors, they will tell you that women should take a break from training for at least 3-6 months after a cesarean section.

At first, when I heard that I was so depressed. I remember I thought I could survive the first 40 days, but 3-6 months, oh that period is way too long. For the first 40 days, I was active. Each night we went for a walk, but that was all.

I kept up my healthy diet, especially now that I’m nursing a child. I did not overeat, even though breastfeeding uses 500–700 calories per day. I only consumed foods high in protein because it is a more nourishing nutrient than fat or carbohydrates. In this manner, I could eat frequently but in small portions.

Once 40 days have passed, you first need to schedule a visit with a doctor to confirm that everything is fine with your body. This time, the doctor is the only person who can permit you to train. I was happy that everything went back to its place and I went to the gym on my 41 postpartum day.

I didn’t expect that, but my body was very exhausted. During my pregnancy, some humans advised me that I would have extra strength after giving the beginning and that the whole lot could right now go back to its vicinity, and I was surely upset when I found out that this turned out not to be the case. There is no magic trick that could make the whole thing move lower back to the way it changed.

A woman’s body needs up to 2 years to return to normal after giving birth. Imagine that! And we, women, expect to return to our “original” state immediately after 40 days. Although it is not exactly as I thought, with good training and a balanced diet, it is possible to change at least our physical appearance in the best possible way.

Postpartum - fitness and nutrition tips for you and your baby.

Fitness Challenges During Postpartum

The biggest challenge was diastasis. Diastasis recti is a condition that occurs when the tissue between your abs – stretches or tears in the central vertical line. It is most often a consequence of the growth of the uterus and occurs in most women during pregnancy or after childbirth.

I had diastasis recti during pregnancy and I knew that I had to close it first before starting with classical training. You can close it with breathing exercises and core strengthening. It is very important to close the diastasis before the start of training to avoid an umbilical hernia.

Considering that I returned to the gym after 40 days, I knew what I had to do. The first step was to close diastasis. I did light exercises for full body and exercises for diastasis. After 3 months, I closed it, strengthened it, and continued with a stronger training intensity.

I honestly do not recommend this to anyone because, as I have already mentioned, it takes time for our organs to return to normal.

I took it lightly because I realized that I had the strength for more intense training. Therefore, I continued to behave in the gym as before pregnancy. This caused my diastasis to open again and this time it was worse than before. I am now 9 months postpartum and I am still working on closing the diastasis.

This is exactly why I say that it is very important that you take the return to physical activity seriously, no matter how strong you seem to be.

Another thing that surprised me was my pulse. If you were able to train before and have your heart rate not exceed 120 after training, now you just have to know that this is not possible. The first workout after giving birth, although it was too easy, my heart rate went up to 190.

Of course, with more regular training, that changed, but this is an indicator of why you shouldn’t push yourself and do something beyond your capabilities. As already mentioned, our body is recovering and it is important to understand that it needs time.

Nutrition During Postpartum

Nutrition_During_Postpartum_-_healthy_diet_benefical_for_your_recovery_and_milk_quality
An excellent example of a balanced dinner. Protein bread made from buckwheat flour, light cottage cheese and eggs. This is definitely my favorite dinner because it’s quick to prepare and it’s delicious. Make the scrambled eggs first, in the meantime spread the cheese on the bread. Then put the eggs on the bread and you can add some grated mozzarella. Bake everything for 2-3 minutes just until the cheese melts nicely.

My diet hasn’t changed much. I am breastfeeding my baby and the most important thing for me is to get all the necessary nutrients and minerals so that my milk is as healthy as possible for Luka. I eat protein-rich foods and drink Herbalife shakes for breakfast.

In the first 6 months after giving birth, I lost 11 kg, and the most important thing is that I feel great. I have a lot of energy because I eat everything my body needs through breakfast.

I eat about 180g of protein a day, drink plenty of water, and have regular meals. The most important thing is to eat 5 times a day and have a schedule: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. Especially women who are breastfeeding. Our body needs fuel to survive the day, and if you are also responsible for another being’s lunch, you must take in quality food.

It is difficult to plan and prepare meals with a baby, I know that. From day one, I made it my goal to be my priority. If the mother is well, the baby will be too. My advice is that everyone should prepare easy and healthy meals. And to eat as soon as feel hungry!

Babies teach us that we should eat every 2-3 hours. Luka now eats solid food and I try to pass on healthy habits to him as well. While it’s important to be physically active, it’s even more important to take care of ourselves on the inside.

Fitness_and_Nutrition_Postpartum_-_Get_back_in_shape_personal_experience

Conclusion

I achieved a good result after childbirth with frequent physical activity and a balanced diet. However, this is just the beginning. I want to educate other people that it is easy to lead a healthy life. Much easier than facing health problems. My wish is to close the diastasis forever, be even more active, and help pregnant women and mothers during the recovery period.

At first, it was difficult, but I understood it as if I was an example and an authority for my child. Since I want the best for my child, I just want the best for myself. Therefore, I need to act accordingly.

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