The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Moving my body is what I do to release stress and feel strong and energized. So when I didn’t know I was pregnant and was doing 20-mile training runs back in October for the New York City Marathon and climbing obstacle courses while competing in a Tough Mudder mud run, I couldn’t figure out why I was slowing down so much.
That is, until I had a dream of a little baby with blue-green eyes and dark hair that felt so, well, real that I immediately drove to the store to buy a pregnancy test…which came back positive. Surprise!
And so after giving up running altogether by 14 weeks (it just didn’t feel good anymore!) in favor of walking, I had to completely change my fitness routine to better listen to my changing body. Instead of going for long runs, I’d do a three or four-mile walk twice a week, prenatal yoga once or twice a week, and swam twice a week. Sometimes I’d take the occasional spinning or weight-lifting class (using much lighter weights and always modifying based on what felt good to my body) just to switch things up.
Though at 36 weeks I’ve still managed to gain 35 pounds (and with four weeks still to go I will probably be over the recommended range of 25 to 35 pounds for a woman starting at a healthy weight), for me fitness is less about the number on the scale and more about feeling good in my body and keeping it strong for my baby during labor.
Though I definitely don’t feel like my pre-pregnant self, I often forget just how big my belly actually is until I’m in a gym class and have other women coming up to me surprised that I’m still working out so late in my pregnancy—and providing me with lots of encouragement for sticking with it.
This was the reaction I got from many people when I went on a little baby moon to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA this week, which is known for it’s large sampler of daily fitness classes, healthy food, pampering spa, and integrated medicine consultations. The wellness resort was offering a Jumpstart to a Healthier Life program for people who want to start new fitness habits or set the healthy stage for a life transition—which for me is becoming a new mom! I figured it’d be good to take four days to focus on wellness, relax, and feel more grounded before my little guy arrived and everything changes, so I signed up. Plus, they have a babymoon special where new parents get 15% off a package stay and an extra $135 each to use on spa or integrated wellness services.