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pregnancy swimwear

  • Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

    We all know exercise is important for our health, mind, body and soul. Some of us enter pregnancy in tip top shape and in no mood to slow down while others have had more of a sedentary life, perhaps due to the type of they work do and simply being busy. We all know we should take time to exercise regularly, but if you haven’t been an exercise buff before you were pregnant, chances are you are not super inspired to start exercising once morning sickness and/or pregnancy weight gain and fatigue set in.

    Prego Maternity Empire Tank Maternity Swimsuit Prego Maternity Empire Tank Maternity Swimsuit

    The good news is that you don’t need to embark on exercise full throttle and begin extreme sports or sign up for marathons once you are expecting, but you can begin a gentle exercise regime that could do wonders for your health and energy. Pregnancy is a great time to try low impact sports such as swimming or water aerobics. Staying cool in the pool becomes a more attractive option as the weather heats up and with your basal body temperature naturally higher you are probably feeling even hotter than normal. The weightlessness of swimming and pool exercise can relieve achy joints and the back strains of a growing tummy. Even just a few easy laps in the pool if you are not a regular swimmer is a great way to start off. (BTW it’s a good idea to buy a maternity swimsuit if you plan to do any lap swimming. Don’t even try to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy swimsuit because it will not fit well and it’s not healthy for your body to be minimized or restricted while you are pregnant).

    Other low impact exercises include yoga and stretching. If you are doing yoga for the first time, then go slow and do not try a hot yoga class as they can crank the temperature up to as high as 106 degrees for 90 minutes which is not safe for pregnancy – your baby is cooking enough at your regular temperature as it is! Some gyms do offer a prenatal yoga class, so ask around for any local pregnancy exercise classes. Sometimes these specialty classes are advertised at your OBGYN office and of course you can google it for your zip code. Classes like these are fun as you get to meet other expecting women and you have the same body changes to work around and feel less self-conscious about exercising in a group class. You can laugh together while you stretch out the kinks and adjust yoga poses to your ever evolving pregnancy physique. These same women may end up being your stroller buddies and mom friends down the way after you have your baby.  (Do be careful to not do anything awkward or unusual that you are not comfortable with and take into consideration that your balance is altered with your shifting center of gravity).

    A new study showed that even light cardio (such as power walking) and hand weights in short bursts of up to five minutes about five times a day was even more beneficial than one long intensive daily routine and allowed for better recovery. Apparently this is a long held celebrity training secret that we just got in on! Simple five minute intervals up to five times a day can do wonders for lowering and regulating blood sugar which can climb during pregnancy and cause gestational diabetes. Regular light exercise can also lower blood pressure and resting heart rate which is also subject to rise during pregnancy.  Many women experience preeclampsia for the first time when pregnant due to the extra weight and physical stresses on their body as they progress in their pregnancy. Studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of developing complications such as preeclampsia and improve your overall circulation as well as reducing leg cramps, varicose veins and swollen ankles. Additionally, exercise helps strengthen back muscles that support your belly and helps alleviate aches and pains overall which is a huge benefit to your overall wellbeing and comfort.

    Although exercise can make you feel less energetic initially, if you stay consistent with it your body will adjust and you will eventually have more energy. Equally important, exercise will allow you to sleep better at night as your muscles will be more fatigued and that legitimate physical tired feeling will allow you to get to sleep faster. As a result of better rest you will feel sharper and more alert in the morning and less stressed so you can enjoy your day. It’s a complete 24 hour healthy loop cycle!

    Usually the first association many of us have to exercise is a means to sweat off extra pounds and rev up our metabolism so we can effectively lose weight without starving ourselves. While this is true and often a good goal for non-pregnant women, it is not the goal for pregnant women (although a slightly faster metabolism to help burn extra calories we are craving beyond the recommended weight gain is not a bad thing help keep weight gain in check). Pregnant women are supposed to gain weight and usually do so naturally without consciously trying to eat more. You definitely should not obsess over the scales while pregnant unless their doctor puts you on alert.  Weight gain during pregnancy is not always linear – you might lose weight in the first three months with morning sickness and food aversion and then find your belly has suddenly “popped” as well as your chest and appetite over the next four weeks in the second trimester. BTW expect a second “pop” in the last month of pregnancy, about the time you don’t think you can get any bigger, you do!

    One of the major ways exercise can provide an immediate benefit to everyone, but especially expecting women, is by increasing serotonin levels and balancing out mood swings. As we know hormones are in full swing when you are pregnant and often affecting everything from your diet and feelings of morning sickness to your self-image, mental outlook and emotions. By engaging in regular exercise you gain a sense of control over your body, emotions and positive emotional and mental outlook that may otherwise feel completely out of control. This sense of stability gives us a sense calm and balance which is priceless when you are experiencing daily physical and overall life changes at a breakneck speed.

    Achieving and maintaining a level of fitness during pregnancy also really aids in our postpartum recovery. The ability to stay within our healthy weight range during pregnancy and toning our muscles in the process with supervised light resistance training allows us to regain our energy much quicker postpartum and feel more like our pre-pregnancy selves. If you are tipping the scales with your pregnancy weight do not fear! Unless your doctor has prescribed bed rest or you have a high risk pregnancy then it’s not too late to start a low impact moderate exercise program from which you can continue to reap huge health benefits both during and after pregnancy.

    Do be sure to get your doctors sign off on any out of the ordinary exercise you plan to do during pregnancy (remember no horse riding, downhill skiing, bungee jumping, etc) and it’s recommended to run your exercise plans by your doctor in your prenatal visits, particularly if you have any elevated health risks. But, if you have the green light from your doctor, then get your blood pumping a bit and remember to hydrate!

  • The Magic of Maternity Swimwear

    One must-have item that every pregnant woman needs in her wardrobe this summer is a maternity swimsuit that she loves. The criteria for loving it is that you will actually wear it and maybe look forward to wearing it, and that it does in fact fit comfortably and can be worn in the water without coming off or showing through.

    Many expecting women think that they really don’t need a maternity swimsuit, but the truth of the matter is that you will be hotter than hot this summer as you are running on a pregnancy thermostat, which always runs hotter than your normal pre-pregnancy temperature with elevated levels of progesterone flooding your veins. The reason they say you have a “bun in the oven” is because you are in fact cooking and yes, you are the oven.

    There is probably a good chance most of us will be near water at least some point this summer and there is no more relaxing activity or safer exercise for a pregnant woman than going in the pool and actually swimming or even just wading around. Your baby is swimming inside you all the time, so why not join him and her with your own water aerobic workout, swim a lap or two or simply move around in the water and enjoy the buoyancy of a lighter belly at last. In fact it will probably be the only time where you actually feel both cool and weightless, and that in itself is reason to invest in a very nice maternity swimsuit.

    The other misconception pregnant women often have, and myself included for my first pregnancy, is that you don’t actually need a maternity swimsuit. This, my friends, is an 'ole wives tale because either they don’t remember how uncomfortable it was to wear a regular swimsuit while pregnant (including buying one size up which just makes you feel bad and still doesn’t fit just right) or they probably didn’t make maternity swimsuits when those “ole wives” were around anyway. Anyone who has tried to squeeze a second to third trimester body into their pre-pregnancy swimsuit knows that it just doesn’t work and is very uncomfortable. Plus, by the end of those nine months that swimsuit is pretty much shot anyway with spandex that does not spring back into place, ever.

    Maternity swimsuits are really the best invention since sliced bread. Once you try one on, in the right size, you will have a "Hallelujah" moment. Finally, at last, someone got it right! You are not fat and your body is not bigger with the same proportions, you just have completely enlarged Dolly Parton proportions that can often include not only the expected belly and chest parts but also the bottom, just to help balance out that center of gravity in the front no doubt. Plus your breast are extra sensitive, so don't even think about minimizing swimsuits nor does your tummy need any pressure. Be respectful of the bump and honor it, you do have a living being down there after all who is only getting bigger by the minute and needs to breate. Also the thought of restrictive clothing of any kind is both suffocating and nauseating to most pregnant women.

    Maternity swimwear, when done well, is genius. It can have you actually looking good in your swimsuit, maybe even sexy if you allow yourself to admit it. Plus it is made to stretch and stretch and stretch comfortably where needed without falling off in the pool or getting carried away in a tidal wave (not that you should be doing any aggressive wave jumping at this point!)  As a result you can actually save money by not having to buy a new ill-fitting non-maternity swimsuit every 2 weeks or show excessive cleavage or worry about wardrobe malfunctions while enjoying the club pool with mixed company or chasing a toddler in the baby pool.

    Good fitting, well made and deliciously styled maternity swimwear is your right, your privilege for being pregnant in the summer time. It's your reason to get in the pool and move those achy joints while looking good at the same time. Enjoy your pregnancy and your summer with the right maternity swimsuit!

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