When I was seven months pregnant, someone asked me if I was on a diet. He said I looked astonishing and that my body didn't show any sign of pregnancy besides... well, my pregnant belly! I truly appreciated the compliment even though, to be honest, my main goal for that 9-month period of my life was to stay healthy and to make sure that my baby developed well and grew happy inside my body. I didn't care about the fact that I could gain "too much" weight or become "too large" or "unattractive". Right from the beginning I knew what my goal was - a healthy baby and a health problem-free pregnancy for myself - and I knew that, no matter the changes my body would go through, they would have been only temporary and that I was able to start exercising and go back in shape as soon as my doctor would give me the green lights.
And, to answer the question regarding my diet, all I have to say is I would never think or advise anyone to start a diet while pregnant. It could harm the baby and negatively influence her development. But I did pay attention to what I ate and adopted some tried and tested healthy habits that I would surely recommend to any pregnant woman:
1. Diversified diet, including meat, fibres, pasteurised dairy products and lots of vegetables and fruits.
2. Stretching exercising sequences specially designed for pregnancy that prepare your body for giving birth AND keep you fit and boost your energy level during pregnancy.
3. Keeping a diary so that you can keep track of significant moments of this unique period of your life, freely express your emotions and keep yourself mentally healthy despite the sometimes overwhelming number of medical tests, new purchases for you and your baby, the continuous emotional roller coaster and the frequent alternations of contradictory thoughts and feelings.
4. Having in place some new routines can keep you grounded and give you a sense of control. I feel that embracing some new habits that are compatible with the new situation and that you can slightly modify along the way based on your state and needs that might differ from one month to another can actually make a huge difference.
I replaced my usual exercising habits with a specific stretching sequence that I started to use regularly as soon as my husband and I decided it was time for us to have a baby. I think that is the exact reason why I didn't have backaches despite my almost lifelong scoliosis, besides all the wonderful benefits on the psychological and aesthetic levels.
Of course, genetics might have played an important role in terms of weight gain, but preparing your body for childbirth, keeping your muscles toned, helping your digestive system and improving blood circulation are all good reasons to do stretching during pregnancy in my opinion. That's why I thought that adding a cheat sheet containing the description of all the stretching exercises I did to the materials we can use together during the Maternity Style Coaching™ Program would be a nice added value bonus for you, wouldn't it?