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Blog-watch: pregnancy latest

June 2nd, 2011 · 1 Comment · Diet, Training

I’ve seen a few pregnancy-related bits and bobs over the last few months so I decided to pull them together in one place for those who want to know about such things. 

There seem to be lots of pregnancies among my friends at the moment – probably something to do with my age.  We’re all at that age where our thoughts turn to mothering.  I’ve even caught myself feeling motherly towards a few youngsters recently (although my definition of youngster here expands up as far as 18 years old).  Despite not wanting children of my own I am quite happy enjoying everyone else’s and want every child to get the best possible start in life (and all my friends to feel as good as possible while they are going through the process).  I feel the best I can do to help with this is doing my bit of research and news-sharing.

Human foetus at 20 weeks (with thanks to Cehwiedel, Creative Commons)

  • I’m always pleased when there is some sensible information in the media about pregnancy-related subjects, rather than the usual scare-story or media hype about a new recommendation (with no idea of what has caused the change in official guidelines).  The New York Times did a lovely article about some new research looking at the impact of exercise during pregnancy on the foetus and newborn.  As you might expect, they found that exercising improved the cardiac system of the foetus (well, with all that blood pumping around at high speed I’m not entirely surprised).  Not only that, but the heart was still healthier than those of babies born to mothers who didn’t exercise during pregnancy an entire month after birth.  So now we can add “healthier heart” to the list of reasons why it is good to exercise during pregnancy (such as having a baby who sleeps more soundly).
  • If you ever listen to Robb Wolf’s podcasts, The Paleo Solution, you are guaranteed to hear about reducing stress to improve cortisol levels and improve overall health, both digestive and elsewhere.  It makes logical sense to strive to improve these things when you are pregnant or even when you are trying to get pregnant since it is likely to give your body the best chance.  However I had never considered the issue of stress post-pregnancy.  That bit where you’ve got broken nights and, if you’re a new mother, all the attendant worries of whether you are doing the right things.  Fortunately, Cassandra Forsythe (who is definitely far more qualified than either me or Robb Wolf to comment on such a topic) responded to a reader question on this.  I definitely recommend taking the time to read it whether you are pregnancy, recently gave birth or even if you just know someone in that situation and would like to be of help to them.
  • This link is a bit of a break from the more technical considerations of pregnancy.  Just an article detailing someone’s experience of getting back onto the training regime after being pregnant and then increasing in responsibilities at work.  As Julia says. She was “working out for the last 18 months, but not training.  And yes, there is a difference.”  I know exactly what she means about there being a difference.  One of them you are just doing a bit of training for the sake of it with no real commitment to each exercise or workout.  It becomes really easy to miss part of a workout or play about with something else for a few weeks with no sense of disappointment in yourself for not progressing or improving.  How she got herself out of that was to sign herself up for a meet.  Suddenly she really needed to train.  Why’ve I included this link here?  I guess it’s just a reminder for any new mothers that if you are struggling to motivate yourself to start training properly again, the best way to do it is sign up for something which means you become accountable to your goals again.
  • If you are trying to get pregnant at the moment don’t get your hopes up too much if you feel tired one day.  However, based on the studies, if you still feel fatigued 14 days later then you may want to think about taking a test.
  • Mistress Krista posted up a great post-pregnancy workouts article by Lieke Lekkas who explained what she’s been doing to workout since she gave birth.  It’s pretty inspirational stuff and a reminder that, once baby arrives, your life doesn’t have to go on hold.
  • Finally, the last link goes to That Paleo Guy, Jamie, who has found some studies looking at the nutrients required to improve reproductive potential in women and the best sources for these.  Jamie concludes that the best source in both cases would be meat.  So the advice is: if you want to get pregnant, eat plenty of meat and veg!

That’s the lot for now.  Best of luck to anyone out there who is pregnant, who has a pregnant partner or is trying to get pregnant at the moment.  Congratulations to any new mothers – and fathers – (whether it was your first or you are an old hand by now).  Hopefully there’s something for all of you in the links today.

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