How to stay slim during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is the most important, saturated stage in a woman’s life. Nothing will be the same as it is now, including the body. During the nine-month miracle, the mental and physical condition of the woman undergoes enormous transformations. There is no doubt that pregnancy will change your energy balance, diet and exercise. Pregnancy will affect your attitude to yourself, which in turn will greatly affect your behavior. Although you must place the needs of a developing fetus in the first place, this does not mean that you should forget about your own needs. A balanced diet and regular, sparing physical exertion will benefit both you and your child.
As a rule, women who were active before and after the birth of a child are happier and better adapted to the maternal duties. They are happy to do domestic work, they like to go shopping for groceries and are more responsible in their upbringing of a child.
What happens in the body?
This is the only case where you can not count on the preservation of the figure. British doctors say that a woman should gain about 10 kg of additional weight during pregnancy. The recommendations of the US Institute of Medicine for the entire period of pregnancy are more specific: 12-17 kg for women with normal weight, 7 kg for full and 14-20 kg for women with insufficient weight.
Half of the extra weight is accounted for by the embryo itself, plus the uterus in combination with everything necessary for the development of the fetus. The balance of weight is made up of extra fat and fluids, and also the mammary glands increase in volume. Most of the extra weight is concentrated in the front of the body, which shifts the center of gravity. To restore balance, the pelvis moves forward and the curve of the lumbar region increases. This is what leads to pain in the lower part of the pelvis, which affects 50% of pregnant women.
From a physiological point of view, the manifestation of pregnancy is very similar to the effects of prolonged exercise (this is why some say that pregnancy is like a nine-month workout). During the first three months, blood pressure, as a rule, decreases, but then returns to normal. The volume of blood increases by 40-50%, and its quantity increases, pushed through the vessels in one heartbeat. Nevertheless, in the last trimester, blood pressure begins to drop again, which, given its increased volume, increases its inflow to the lower extremities and can cause varicose veins.
Even as blood volume increases, the number of red blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to the muscles remains the same. Thus, the increased blood volume decreases the concentration of red blood cells. This is manifested in the feeling of constant fatigue, which is well known to most pregnant women. In addition, the heart rate at rest increases by 15-20 units, which makes it difficult to perform exercises. Elevated progesterone levels can also increase the ventilation of the lungs, making breathing more frequent and deep.
The most painful side effects of pregnancy are an increase in the time of the digestive “transit,” which is expressed in constipation and indigestion, retention of body fluids and skin irritations. To top it off, increased urine production along with increasing uterus pressure on the bladder can lead to constant urge to urinate. Nevertheless, studies have shown that, despite all the difficulties of pregnancy, one should not sit back during this period. Regular exercise helps to reduce the classic manifestations of discomfort during pregnancy. Therefore, immediately begin training!
Benefits of an active lifestyle during pregnancy
According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical School, moderate exercise during pregnancy reduces blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing gestational hypertension. (The women who participated in the experiment, exercised three times a week for 30 minutes.)
Women who regularly exercised gave birth more easily and on time.
In women who systematically performed the exercises, children were born with greater weight.
Exercise during pregnancy partially eliminated such side effects as nausea and rapid fatigue.
Women who regularly exercised during pregnancy recovered less than those who avoided physical exertion.
Although all pregnant women say they are “eating for two,” you should know that weight gain is over six times higher than the risk of becoming obese after the birth of the first child.