photo: 6 weeks to 28weeks
online diary of my pregnancy originally written from the end of september to november
Things are starting to get real as the baby makes it way from the size of a carrot to the size of a coconut!
Throughout these 9 weeks, I flew to chicago for a chiropractic seminar, had my (surprise!) 30th birthday party, celebrated my husband's 28th birthday.
I feel a certain "settling in" to being pregnant. One of the neatest things, were the first feelings of movement from the baby! I don't think any words can explain what these sensations feel like the first few times you feel them.
At this point, I have monthly midwife appointments. These appointments are 30 minutes in length, and we discuss common questions and concerns, things to expect, next steps and they check the fetal heartbeat.
At the beginning of this period of my pregnancy, I had gained just 8lbs, but throughout these months I put on another 10lbs - actually the 10lbs came on in just under 2 weeks!
While daily movement and sound nutrition is key - I believe that the pregnany body is going to do whatever it wants to do in terms of weight.
How I'm feeling //
I've gotten that second trimester boost of energy I looked so forward too. No longer do I feel the need to sleep in, or take multiple naps a day. I am feeling the effects of a growing body in my clinical practise, and certain techniques I utilized for patient treatments are beginning to be modified so I can be most effective.
Advice I've received//
I reached out to Dr. Crossley, colleague of mine at Align Health Centre who has 3 children and treated all the way through about how I could be most effective with my changing proportions. She offered sound guidance in how I should be moving my own body to be most effective in my treatments, while still keeping baby and my body safe.
Changes I've made//
I've reduced my workouts to 2-3x/week and only upping the intensity intermittently. Chiropractic is physically demanding, and I am finding that I have a limited supply of energy.
In a few instances, I felt I worked out too hard, and towards the end of my day of seeing patients I was really fading. I shifted my more demanding workouts to non-chiro days, and keeping the chiro-day workouts light and it's made a huge impact on my energy levels throughout the day.
How I'm eating//
Finally! I'm able to consume a vegetable! While my dietary preferences are definitely skewed towards carbs, my diet has mostly returned to my pre-pregnancy normal which consists of eggs + egg whites, protein shakes, salads and vegetable stirfy.
- Dr. Cain
Instagram would have you believe that #fitness means abs, bikinis and sexy poses - and that you get a trophy for looking like your pre-pregnancy self as fast as possible.
True fitness is the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task. True fitness is building a body that can handle anything, ward off acute + chronic conditions and keep you strong, healthy + happy for life.
Before you set out in any post partum fitness program, it's important to evaluate where you are right now.
Your body is different than it was one year ago, or five years ago, and it looks & feels much different than the body you'll have in three years time.
This is all fine.
The body you have today is yours - move it & love it.
Why not just any fitness program?
You are different from everyone else in that group class.
That trainer you hired may not truly understand what diastasis rectus means.
Cardio without strength will not do the things for your body that you truly need.
You've spent the last 10 months transforming your body.
Things have shifted, and look and feel different than they once did.
Establishing a solid foundation rooted in exercise science in which to layer fitness upon is vital to your longevity.
A post partum fitness program should not solely be focused on aesthetics, on how you look, on the body "bounce-back." While it is ok to be training for aesthetics, this should not be the sole focus.
I'll admit, in the final weeks of my pregnancy, at 190lbs from 150lbs, I have been reminiscing on old workout videos, PRs and what my body looked like last year. I've whispered "I'll be back soon" to my closet full of my beautiful, untouched clothes. It's taken intentional thought to stop myself from body negativity, or want to speed life up to be back in my "old body."
The fact is - you and I need specialized fitness training before we get back to our old training ways. We need to build a solid foundation upon which we can layer additional fitness. We need to ensure we get more than a quick checkmark from an MD that were "cleared for exercise."
Before getting started with the ANCHOR post partum fitness program, you will have a consultation with Dr. Alli.
Things that will be covered in your initial consult
- type + time of birth
- pain medication used at the time of birth
- activity level prior to birth
- complication during pregnancy or birth
- current injuries
...this is all to ensure you are starting into fitness at an appropriate time for you.
I believe in movement.
I believe in self care.
I believe in bringing baby to life with you!
I believe in being patient with yourself.
Most of all, I believe in physical, mental and emotional wellness to achieve top quality of life.
- Dr. Alli Cain
I've gotten this question so many times over the 10 year course of my chiropractic & fitness professional career...
First - Yay! Congrats - you're pregnant!
Second - What are you doing for fitness now?
For the most part - you get to keep doing what you're doing!
What can I do during pregnancy?
Strength training is one of the most important things you can do during pregnancy. There is SO much a pregnant woman can do, and it's important to focus on all of the can do's rather than the few movements you cannot do.
Contrary to popular opinion, even if you're not currently training, you can start incorporating intentional movement. Be sure to seek out a supportive environment and a knowledgable coach.
Do: quality functional movement
What can I not do during pregnancy?
To the last point - just the other day I posted a video of myself doing a rope climb. I received a ton of commentary from people ranging from "you are a total badass" to "oh my god, should you be doing that in your condition."
At 32 weeks pregnant able to manage 1-3 higher intensity workouts per week, and in that workout I was feeling particularly strong + empowered. What I didn't show in that 30 second instagram clip, was me scaling the work every other round, and taking long breaks before attempting some of the harder skills.
Third - set your intention for fitness during pregnancy.
Your training goals have now changed: you are training for birth.
Your goals should still revolve around strength, stamina, balance, endurance, flexibility etc. but the outcome is not centred on setting PRs, or weight loss - it's now on building a strong body for pregnancy, birth and post-partum.
I'm launching my post partum fitness series in spring 2018.
Be the first to know when registration is live and subscribe to my newsletter below!
- Dr. Alli Cain
online diary of my pregnancy, originally written October 2017
Just like any woman, and especially when it's her first time being pregnant, I am, of course concerned with the process of being pregnant. One of my biggest moments of concern was the day I learned I was pregnant and I had just done the hero workout "murph" RX the day before... and PR'd my time!
However, while it's important to be mindful of the stress you are putting your body under when pregnant, pregnancy should not be viewed as a handicap. There's a lot of fear associated with pregnancy - a terrifying list of do's and don'ts. I'm not suggesting there are no justifiable fears - I just think that people could drive themselves crazy trying to be perfect during their pregnancy and adhere to every single contradictory "rule."
That's why I decided to document my pregnancy. Maybe mine looks a lot like yours, maybe there are no similarities at all. There's no need to compare... this is just my experience.
There have been several noticeable changes throughout these weeks!
Week 8 - we told our family + friends using the 'bun in the oven' method ;)
Week 12 - Jordan and I decided to make our "Instagram official announcement"
Week 16 - I had to stop running due to back pain - I've subbed in other modalities to replace running. Given that I am on my feet all day for work, it just isn't worth aggravating any areas of my body. I was a bit disappointed, as I've witnessed so many others run well into their pregnancy... but it just wasn't in the cards for me.
(more on pregnancy and back pain later)
Week 19 - we found out the gender, and revealed to our friends + family + the world....
see gender reveal
Week 20 - I had set a (foolish) goal that I was going to try to go the duration of my pregnancy without buying maternity clothing. I thought for sure my lululemons would stand the test of my belly growth!
However, this week, despite my refusal, it was time to give up my regular clothes and switch into some maternity clothing. I am not a good shopper on the best of days, and it took all of my strength not to have a toddler-sized temper tantrum as my husband and mother-in-law took me to Kohl's in Port Huron to do some maternity clothing shopping.....
(got some good deals, though)
Weeks 12-20 - give me all the carbs, let me sleep and please do not touch my stomach without asking first.
I found myself searching instragram with the hashtags of "19weekspregnant" or whatever the week is, and comparing other woman's size to my own. I don't know why I am doing this - I guess reassurance that I'm growing normally - not too fast, not too slow?
I'm also feeling odd in my own body + clothes. I'm not ready to commit to maternity clothes yet, but I'm just barely squeezing into my regular clothes. From week 12-20 I gained about 6lbs, but it's more the change in body composition that I've noticed.
I've started getting pregnancy advice, and having moms share their birth stories with me. I actually love this! Everyone's story is so unique - which just leads me to believe that our bodies are going to do whatever they want to do.
In week 12 I made some major decisions regarding my health care. When I had presented to my MD in week 5, I felt thoroughly dismissed in my appointment. There had been nothing more than an exchange of my telling her "I'm pregnant!" and her doing a quick calculation to determine my due date. I had expressed a legitimate concern I had with genetics and my family history and it was completely ignored. I would have liked to have an overview of what to expect to come - timeline of anticipated ultrasounds among other pregnancy milestones.
No, the only advice I got from my doctor was "don't lift anything heavy or do anything that causes more than a light sweat" ..... really? REALLY!
I decided to leave my MD and switch to a nurse practitioner, and also go under the care of a midwife.
Having a nurse practitioner and a midwife meant more support, more education and more opportunity to feel like I had control over my own body. An opportunity to ask questions and to feel like I am still me, while I rent out my uterus for 39 weeks. I left both of these appointments with information on what to expect over the next several weeks, and plenty of support material.
Being empowered during pregnancy is critical.
Being active is not the same thing as being careless
Living in a pregnancy bubble is not the same thing as being careful and mindful of your health
There is a difference between sensible caution and fear mongering
Dr. Alli Cain