Planning Parenthood

A pregnant woman

The moment when you first discover you are pregnant is filled with excitement and a little apprehension.  An unplanned pregnancy can cause lots of anxiety as you try to scramble to get things in order.  Since all women are concerned at some point in their life with either getting pregnant or preventing pregnancy today’s blog is about planning parenthood.

I happen to be planning my first pregnancy for sometime later this year or the early part of next year.  Of course I have no control over when I actually get pregnant but there are things I can do in preparation and steps I can take to make sure I am ready for motherhood when it arrives.  There are three areas of life you should consider before going off your birth control.  You should make sure that you are financially stable.  Also you want to make sure that your are mentally and emotionally ready for the changes that motherhood will bring.  The last area is to make sure you are physically able to conceive and birth a baby.  Since I’m a personal trainer I’m going to focus on this third area of being physically ready to have a baby.

Before You Conceive

I challenge you to get into the best shape of your life.  Start by making a doctor’s appointment.  Let your doctor know you are planning a pregnancy and they will test your blood and urine to make sure there are no health issues that could hinder conception.  Things to be concerned  about would be:

Give yourself 6 months to a year to lower or correct any of these conditions.   A proper diet and regular exercise will be enough for most people to get any health issues in check. Before you conceive is also a good time update your immunizations and get any dental work done.  You will also benefit from core strengthening exercises and weight training. Labor and Delivery can be very stressful and intense on the mother and the more fit you are the better you will be able to manage the pain and endure the process. 

During Your Pregnancy

Nutrition will become a major obsession.  Making sure you take in the right types of nutrients in the right amounts is key to a healthy mom and baby.  You can continue to exercise at your pre-pregnancy levels.  The only caution is to avoid activities that could result in a fall or that would be considered risky.  So no roller-balding, rock wall climbing, or tandem jumping please.  Jogging, swimming and aerobics are all very good options to maintain your fitness.  If you’ve been a couch potato, start slow and chose activities like walking, Pilates, or yoga to build your stamina and flexibility.  Another useful thing to do is create a birth plan in which you determine where and how you plan to labor.  You’ll also write out if and when you will take pain medication and if you want to use birthing aids.  Most importantly you can name who you want in the room with you.

Labor and Delivery

If you’ve done all of your preparation when you get to Labor and Delivery your only concern will be to use the various coping techniques you learned in class.  As every muscle in your body is contracting to position the baby your main goal will be to achieve a stillness and calm through out your body. You’ll also want to calm your mind as well.  The more relaxed  you can become the better.  You’ll have your coach or maybe even a doula to encourage you and help you to follow your plan.

After You Get Home

Consider breastfeeding because not only is it the best nutrition for your baby but it helps you to heal faster.  You’ll need to continue good eating habits especially if you breastfeed due to all the calories burned during breastfeeding.  You’ll burn roughly 650 calories a day and its recommended that you eat an additional 500 calories a day in order to maintain your weight. Once you have medical clearance you can resume exercise and begin working to get rid of any “baby fat”.

The Little Things You Can Do Today

  1. Get Tested:  If you have fertility concerns you can take a home fertility test to get the information you need to make the right decisions.  There are also ovulation kits you can pick up if you’re not sure when you ovulate. 
  2. Look for a OBGYNO or Midwife: You want to get a doctor or midwife on board as soon as you know you’re pregnant to ensure good prenatal care.
  3. Hire a Personal Trainer:  If you have health issues to conquer a trainer can help you reach your goals and maintain a healthy weight before, during, and after your pregnancy.  Obesity during pregnancy can be problematic to both mom and baby so don’t be afraid to get help.

Women in History

Answer to last week’s question: Clara Barton founded the American Association of Red Cross on May 21, 1881.

This Week’s Trivia Question

Name the organization founded by women whose mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

Answer revealed next week.  Answer in the comments section below and win free training sessions with me.

Until Next Week,

Nicole D.P. McLaughlin, PT

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About Nicole McLaughlin

I am a self-published author and freelance ghostwriter and boy do I have some stories for you. I'm also an ACE certified personal trainer and I have combined my love for writing and fitness to bring you two blogs.
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One Response to Planning Parenthood

  1. Pingback: six months later: 13 things i’ve learned about parenthood | fourpageletter

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