How far along? 37 weeks. I am considered term, according to the woman who ran our birthing class. She said term is 37 weeks and full term is 40 weeks. I see a lot of conflicting internet information, so I may be off, but this is what we learned in birthing class.
Baby Size: Winter Melon
Weight gain: 22
Maternity clothes? Maternity clothes and huge sweats and tees. I’ve moved on from yoga pants because I don’t want to stretch them out too much, or have them roll down into an embarrassing moment.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Best moment this week: Another great baby shower thrown by the ladies of THREE! There were a lot of bees 🙂
Miss Anything? Having a full range of motion. I am still not as uncomfortable as I was expecting to be at this point, but some days I would be happy to not have to fold myself into a pretzel to tie my shoes, or needing assistance rolling from one side to the other in bed.
Movement: He has such parties in there I can’t imagine how active he’ll be when he arrives. I am feeling a lot more elbows and knees poke out lately.
Food cravings: I finally had a sweets craving! After holding off for about two weeks, I bought a strawberry cupcake last night, and look forward to enjoying some of it tonight.
Looking forward to: Weekly doctor appointments and meeting our little guy soon!
This week I gave a presentation on “Abs After Baby.” Some of the key components we went over were:
- Lifting Weights
Nutrition – Nutrition is the key component to any goals you are seeking to reach. You cannot out exercise a bad diet. As the weeks get closer to meeting our little guy, I have stocked our freezer with meals that I can pop right into the oven to fill baby and I with necessary vitamins and minerals. Being sure to have fat loss friendly food ready to go, ensures that I will be set up for success with meeting my goals. As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail!” The easiest way to eat well without overwhelming yourself is to JERF (Just Eat Real Food). I use fruits and veggies and a protein as a basis for my eating, then I add food in around that. I try to stick to foods that grow on the earth or live off the earth. I follow this about 90% of the time, with some treats here and there, because balance is important.
Lifting Weights – Lifting weights is a simple way for women to burn fat. The energy expended lifting weights, compounded with the extra energy it takes for your muscles to recover, means EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which leads to your body burning calories for a longer period of time. Moreover, the more muscle you build, the more calories and fat your body will burn at rest (meaning a higher resting metabolic rate). There is no need to fear bulking. Men produce up to ten times more testosterone than women, and typically have more muscle mass to begin with, which is why men tend to gain muscle quickly. Women, on the other hand, have a difficult time building and retaining muscle. YOU WILL NOT BULK! Lifting will help you lean out and build the body shape you want!
Sleep – Much easier said than done with a newborn, or any kids for that matter. Sleep impacts your hormones, and hormones impact fat retention. If you are lacking in sleep, it will cause you to retain fat. The best you can do is figure out what works for your family. In my case, I will have to learn to let laundry go unfolded, and dishes remain unwashed from time to time. It makes me cringe to think about that, but lack of sleep is detrimental to my health (mental and physical). Lack of folded laundry is mostly detrimental to my ego.
Intervals – Intervals are the most efficient way to get in a workout, work your cardio respiratory system, and burn fat. A 20 minute circuit can rev up your metabolism for the rest of the day, and give you the boost of energy you need to get through until your child’s next nap. I encourage circuit training with weights, as well as incorporating sprint intervals into your routine. Weighted circuits kill two birds with one stone (lifting weights and intervals), which is a win in my book. Sprint intervals are stroller friendly, and can be done in less than 15 minutes (trust me, you will be sweating). Work smarter, not harder.
After giving birth, be sure to give your body plenty of time to recover! Beginning exercise to quickly after give birth will cause more harm than good. Remember, your body needs rest, otherwise your hormones become even more haywire! When beginning to work your abs again, be sure to avoid crunches, especially if you have Diastasis Recti, as crunches worsen the situation. Try these exercises first:
- Head lifts
- Pelvic tilts
- Hip Raises/bridges
- Heel slide/heel drops
- Core contraction
Once you have mastered all of these you can begin to move onto more challenging exercises, such as planks, which are great for your entire core. Also, once you are recovered and have worked back to such exercises, be sure to incorporate exercises that engage your core, such as squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and other weighted exercises. Most importantly, speak to your doctor and get clearance before beginning ANY exercises!