Water is essential for delivering essential nutrients to your baby needed for healthy growth and development. It’s especially important to stay hydrated during pregnancy to prevent headaches, cramping, dizziness, UTIs, constipation, hemorrhoids and other pregnancy symptoms. Dehydration during the third trimester can actually lead to pre-term labor. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. It may help to drink about 6 ounces of water every hour to prevent having to run to the bathroom every second. This will allow your body to properly absorb your fluids. Since you lose a liter of water during sleep, it’s especially important to replenish with water as soon as you wake up. Water is also essential for cleansing the body and helping to remove waste from the body. Water is also extremely energizing and can help with fatigue.
Did you know that staying hydrated actually may prevent those dreaded stretch marks? That’s right stretch marks are partly genetic but mainly happen internally. Staying hydrated helps your skin stay supple and more elastic. Bottom line is water will be your best cocktail during pregnancy. Spice up your day by adding a glass of mineral water with fresh lemon, limes, orange slices, or berries for a delicious way to stay hydrated.
Since your uterus is expanding and you are making room for a new life, your stomach space tends to be limited. Eating huge meals will make you feel full and uncomfortable. Aim for small frequent meals throughout the day to keep your energy up and ensure that you are fitting in a variety of nutrient rich foods.
12- hour fasts should happen during the nighttime hours when you sleep. Ideally if you eat dinner at 7pm, you want to try not to eat breakfast until at least 7am or perhaps a couple hours later. 12- hour fasts allow your gut time to digest, cleanse and do what it needs to do. A healthier gut contributes to healthy and regular elimination which isn’t always great during pregnancy. Not eating after dinner can also ensure a better night sleep since the body doesn’t have to work hard to digest and can instead relax and fall into a deeper sleep.
Movement is so great for mental health during pregnancy. It’s normal to feel anxious about the unknown during this time. When you move the body, you still the mind which can help you to focus more on the positive moments. With greatest elastin in the body, and the baby pushing on your pelvis, it can create a weakened core and lower back pain. Movement, stretching, massage, and can all help to alleviate this. When it comes to movement make sure to listen to your body first and foremost and be mindful how certain exercises make you feel. During pregnancy I stuck to my same exercise regimen but just adjusted the weight and intensity. I typically stick to a split strength training routine where one day is chest/back, another day is shoulders/arms, and another day is legs/core. I usually stick to 20-30 minutes of strength training + 20-25 minutes of cardio. Some days I take a leisurely run, do yoga, or attend a mat Pilates class. It’s important to add various forms of movement to your life to help strengthen your changing body. I have also found that pregnancy allows me to practice mindful movement and move in a way that makes me and “babby” feel healthy and happy. It has taken the pressure off of doing high-intensity workouts and constantly competing against myself. I know do things at a pace that allows me to stay in the moment but still break a sweat.
While hydration may be the most important way to prevent stretch marks, moisturizing doesn’t hurt. As the skin starts to stretch and thin in your breasts and belly, you may experience an itchy feeling from the skin drying out. Moisturizing not only helps to keep the skin surface soft and elastic, but it is always a great way to give you and your baby a little love and care. My favorite moisturizers to use are coconut oil or shea butter-based creams and jojoba based oils. I love the Honest brand belly balm for bedtime and the Badger Pregnancy belly oil for daytime on top of just plain coconut oil. Give your belly, breasts, hips, and booty a nice rub and tell your baby how much you love them. They can actually start hearing your voice around 18 weeks.