Staying Healthy in the Third Trimester

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With less than two months until my due date I'm focusing more on preparing myself mentally, and physically, for labor and recovery. While it has been tempting at times to give up on eating healthy, and just succumb to marshmallows and nachos, I've been able to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle into my third trimester. Early on in my pregnancy I had absolutely no idea what I would feel like as the weeks progressed. Ideally I'd be running, eating healthy, and feeling good up until the day I delivered. Of course I knew that very well might not be the case, so I set a lot of mini goals for myself. I wanted to stay active until the 20 week mark. Once I hit that goal I wanted to keep working out until the third trimester (28 weeks.) Now that I'm at 31 weeks my goal is to keep up some sort of physical activity until D-day.

I had similar goals for eating well. During the second trimester I started eating vegetables again (many women, myself included, have zero appetite for them during the first trimester.) I told myself I just needed to eat one healthy meal a day. So, I'd have a huge salad for lunch filled with veggies and protein, and then pizza for dinner. Balance!

Now that I'm close to the end I've realized that maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant hinges on four basic areas; fitness, stress management, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

Staying Active 

In my first trimester I took about a month off from my regular workouts to focus on a 21 day yoga teacher training program. I ran once or twice while in training, and walk/ran a half marathon in New Orleans when I was 8 weeks pregnant.

New Orleans

Training ended when I was 10 weeks pregnant and I was too tired to do much of anything that involved moving from the couch. Once the second trimester came I felt back to normal and started running, lifting weights, and hiking again. I ran at a lower intensity, keeping my heart rate under 160, until about 28 weeks when it just didn't feel good to run anymore. Now, I try to walk 3+ miles 2-3 times a week, and do strength training at home. I still do a lot of my pre-pregnancy workouts (especially barre!) and a lot of weighted squats and lunges.

Stress Management

Thankfully I've been extremely fortunate not to have a lot of negative physical symptoms while pregnant. I had zero morning sickness, and only dealt with fatigue and minor heartburn until my third trimester. However, my emotions have been all over the place from day one! During the first, and now third, trimesters I've had my fair share of mood swings. I also dealt with some bouts of high anxiety and panic attacks. I've had to become diligent about prioritizing mental health as much as physical.

Walking helps tremendously to improve my mood. Getting some exercise in while enjoying a bit of fresh air helps set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Then, ending the day with an epsom salt baths with a lavender soy candle is heavenly! IMG_9315Eating Well

When my diet derails a bit too much I have to remember that little guy is being made from what I'm putting into my  body right now. I know I can't eat 'perfectly' so I try not to stress about it too much, so if a few days go by where I don't eat very well I just recognize it and make the decision to start doing better.

I've been trying out new recipes that have the veggies built straight into the dish. This was a cauliflower and pea macaroni that I made last night. Turned out delicious (I'll be sharing the recipe soon!)

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Eating well not only starts baby off right, but it gives me more energy (that I desperately need!) and helps my mental  health out as well. I've spoken about the importance of probiotics many times on the blog before. I've taken probiotics for years and have continued to do so throughout this pregnancy. I've been taking Align and have continued to have a happy belly while pregnant (I suffered from IBS years ago and wasn't sure if it would flare up while pregnant.) Align Probiotics helps maintain your digestive system’s natural balance.* IMG_9303Prioritizing Sleep

All my life I've been a champion sleeper - until the third trimester hit. Now, insomnia keeps me up at night no matter how tired I am, and if I wake up at all to use the restroom it takes me at least an hour to go back to sleep! Lack of sleep means less energy to exercise, less energy to cook healthy meals, and leaves me feeling bleh. So, I'm happy I found a few ways to get enough rest!

First, even if I'm tired and grumpy pants, I force myself to go for a walk. If I sit around the house all day it's harder for me to get tired enough to fall asleep quickly. So, staying busy throughout the day helps. Also, I stop drinking a lot of water by 6/7 p.m. so it's eliminated waking up to use the restroom. I drink about 100 ounces a day and chugging a bottle the second I get up (I won't get out of bed until I finish it) and sometime in the early evening helps me stay hydrated and doesn't interfere with my sleep.

I didn't want to buy one of the expensive pregnancy sleep pillows and I've been completely fine without one. I just put a pillow between my knees to help with my hips and so far that's been sufficient. I've also started drinking some natural calm (magnesium supplement) which helps significantly with my insomnia!

Head to Target and save 15% on Align Probiotic products using Target’s Cartwheel app. Offer ends 7/19.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, trea, cure, or prevent any disease

How difficult was sleep for you in the third trimester? 

While pregnant did you continue to eat healthy, or give into 'pregnancy diet' mentality?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.