COMMUNITY & RESOURCES FOR NEW & EXPECTING MAMAS!
Guest Blog by Om Mama Collective member, Emily O’Dea: Your body is changing every day, stay nourished with movement that will keep you strong for the big day!
Congrats on your pregnancy! For most of us, that first trimester we are fatigued, nauseous, and can feel that life will never be the same again. I hope it’s a good thing! Motherhood is profound. Giving life is profound. There should be more traditions and support around the transition into Motherhood. (Look up matrescence via Google). I digress, let’s talk movement and pregnancy and even a little about movement and postpartum!!!
Let me share guidelines I tell my clients, as well as point to the American College of Ob/Gyn as another place to guide you to see what is safe for you. Remind yourself you are the best judge of what’s right for you and your body. Listen to your body and your body’s wisdom. We are all different. I shy on the conservative side, and was pretty careful during my pregnancy- it wasn’t worth the risk for me, my sanity, and my baby.
The pregnancy might not show yet, you may not be ready to share the news with family, co-workers, and friends. It could be so exciting and you want to shout it out the news from the mountain tops! Generally, I tell my clients if you are feeling alright and up to stuff, do it! Listen to your body! If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it- it’s time to modify. Remind yourself, every day is different. Stay present! In this season of life, it could not be more true!
You might feel that buzz. Energetic! Your baby bump may be showing. You’re ready to rock your baby glow! This is around the time I would recommend modifications and point to these guidelines:
Listen to your body. Take it slow. Rest!!!! You can’t backlog sleep but, you can prepare yourself and your body for the big day. It’s a marathon of your life coming!
Okay, so that gets you through pregnancy now what about after the baby is delivered?
I add my personal experience and story as part catharsis and more importantly to share. To share my story so others like me can feel less isolated, alone, and hopefully have a moment of “me too!!”. I think we’ve all had that feeling of relief when someone else has had a shared experience.
My first trimester was neither hidden, nor shout it from the mountain tops but, somewhere in-between. I “showed” early. I say “showed” because I think it was mainly bloating that our culture just assumes is a baby bump. I also was nauseous ALL the time. I felt like I was car sick for 14+ weeks. So the math of, bloating plus nausea was a giveaway. I enjoyed folks being excited for me but, I had hoped it would be a more private transition. We found out the sex of the baby at 8 weeks, and we shared that with folks but, we kept her name a secret. We had to have something that my husband and I could hold privately. Meanwhile, I was teaching but, didn’t have energy. I couldn’t be on my belly at all ever since I found out she was on board. Yoga flow made me more nauseous in a group setting with the constant ups and downs. There’s a lot of inner movement with the subtle body as well. The breathing was too much. I wasn’t used to the shallow breathing that accompanies pregnancy. I didn’t have access to a prenatal yoga class. I wish I did. I enjoyed Pilates more than yoga at that point. On the reformer, you can do quality, slow, precise movement. In a Private Pilates session, you can gab about your experience, you can tell your instructor “I made it to the reformer that’s all I got” and she understood. Let’s do a bunch of work in this position, and then we’ll move you to this position after 20+ minutes. I knew I was growing stronger in my arms and shoulders- important when lugging a baby, and car seat all over the place, and I knew I was growing stronger in my pelvis/hips-important for the act of birth. I loved it! I had my needs addressed. So all in all, the first trimester was adjusting to life with another being on board. I had to slow down. This art of slowing down was a very hard message to hear, incorporate and understand until I faced this.
My second trimester was short…. as in the “buzz” and energy that is associated with this phase. I loved going to Barre and continued with private Pilates sessions. An asana practice still wasn’t comfortable for me. Meditation was critical though! Can’t say enough good things about some of the meditation apps out there for pregnancy! (Check out HeadSpace, and/or Expectful.) I’m convinced I had a natural birth due to my consistent meditation practice. Now, I wasn’t meditating for hours on end. I was doing do-able amounts of time like 5-15minutes of guided meditation using HeadSpace. More about this in an upcoming blog post.
My third trimester was nesting and preparation. Pilates and walking were what this body of mine could handle and nourished it. Staying pain-free, mobile, and nourished are the things I look for in movement practices. I was so tired! A yoga teacher early on told me, “you’re doing twice, maybe three times as much as someone who isn’t pregnant.” This message was really important for me to hear. Circles back to the slowing down message, right? My ego embraced this notion. I love some of the lines from Ali Wong’s Netflix comedy special like, the reminder “I’m growing a leg, what are you doing?!” still makes me smile.
And then my big day into Motherhood! I went natural, even though I was gently induced. No complications. A healthy baby girl. And mama didn’t do too badly either.
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org Be well! Be kind! Especially to yourself.
For more advice on Yoga, Pilates, and Wellness, you can Follow Emily on her WEBSITE or on INSTAGRAM or visit her at Longevita Pilates & Yoga Studio in Auburn, WA – Om Mama Members get exclusive deals & discounts!