Today we’re introducing you to Jordana W., a mama who maintained her Whole30 habits and continued to workout throughout her pregnancy. She gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little boy in August 2016, and today she’s sharing her Healthy, Happy Pregnancy story with us.
A Note About Working Out During Pregnancy
We receive a lot of questions about working out during pregnancy. We’ve covered this topic extensively on our blog. If you’re interested in reading further about exercise and pregnancy, see the resources below:
- Dear Steph: How Should I Exercise?
- Dear Steph: How Hard Can I Work Out?
- Five Questions with Jessie Mundell, A Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Coach
We also address this question in more detail in our Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program. Click here for more information on our program. The bottom line is that exercise absolutely has a place in pregnancy, as long as no complications are present and you’re feeling well enough to exercise. In fact, research has shown that taking part in physical activity while pregnant is beneficial on many levels, for mamas and babies.
Some of the benefits of working out during pregnancy include:
- A lower risk of pregnancy-related complications and symptoms like back pain, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and constipation
- Healthy weight gain during pregnancy, weight loss after delivery, and improved self-esteem.
- Exercising while pregnant can prepare you to lift and chase your little one once he or she starts moving!
If you have questions about the place that exercise should have in your pregnancy experience, be sure to discuss these with your doctor or health care provider.
In Jordana’s Own Words…
My husband and I share a passion of working out and eating healthy, as we met at a local CrossFit Box in New Jersey. Throughout my pregnancy, I continued to exercise. Instead of CrossFitting, I did a little bit of everything. During the first trimester, I suffered from morning sickness and took it easy. My morning sickness was all day long and I was put on Diclegis because I was unable to eat. When I woke up at 14 weeks along, my sickness was gone and I started moving again. My energy was great during my second trimester and I began to workout consistently, even took part in the CrossFit 2016 Open. Throughout my pregnancy, I worked out 5 to 6 times a week. Exercising was already a part of my daily routine, so it was easy to keep up with it. I wore a heart rate monitor, so I knew when I needed to tone down the intensity of workouts to keep my heart rate in a healthy range. In addition to WODs, I mixed it up with spin classes, boot camp style workouts and strength training. When I started my maternity leave, I worked out every single day until I went into labor.
Maintaining Energy through “Whole30-ish” Eating
Throughout my pregnancy, my meals followed a Whole30-ish template for the most part. Because of nausea in the first trimester, I ate more carbohydrates than I anticipated. I found that the carbs made me feel better. I also discovered that filling my plate with a lot of protein and leafy vegetables helped me on a daily basis. After workouts I always had a protein shake with a banana, almond milk and peanut butter. Not only did working out and eating healthy, nutrient dense foods during my pregnancy give me much needed energy, it made me feel like my body was my body, and that a ‘little alien’ wasn’t taking it over.
My Labor and Delivery Experience
When I went into labor, my contractions went from nothing to five minutes apart right away. When we went to the hospital, they told me I was only dilated to 1cm, but they weren’t sure if my water broke or not so they kept me there. My contractions began intensifying (2 minutes long, 4 minutes apart) so they gave me an epidural. Two hours later, I was pushing. Forty minutes after pushing, he arrived! Without a doubt, exercising throughout my pregnancy made my labor easier. My body was ready and strong for the birthing process. The doctors were amazed how fast I dilated. I was ready to push hours before they thought I would be, and at my ability to push more times during a contraction then most people can. Now I’m a nursing mother, and I find my Whole30-ish eating helps boost my milk supply. I love eating apples and nut butters or Paleo Sloppy Joes. To help with my milk supply, I make sure that I stay hydrated (and I have found that eating a cup of oatmeal every morning helps me, too!). Eating this way gives me so much more energy, especially when I need it for those middle-of-the-night feedings. I know I am doing everything I can do keep myself and my son healthy and happy.
Are you interested in rocking motherhood like Jordana? Join our Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program for access to our virtual pregnancy handbook of over 20 videos and tons of resources, support and practical steps.