Making Those First ConnectionsPosted: February 26, 2012
My family loves to bond with the baby boy growing inside of me. My husband likes to talk to him, using his big, booming Daddy voice, so the baby will know who is in charge when he makes his arrival! My five-year-old whispers into my abdomen, “Baby… It’s your brother…” And as soon as I remind him that he has to speak loudly for the baby to hear him, he then yells, “Wake up, Baby!!” Silly child! And we all love touching my belly, patiently waiting for a kick or a jab. All of these are some of the fun, wonderful ways that families bond with their unborn children. But we all know that the most significant bond during this stage of a baby’s life is that of the baby and the mother, since their bodies are literally connected!
From the moment I took the pregnancy test that told me there was a tiny little human developing somewhere in my uterus, I have felt a wonderful mixture of love, joy, and concern for the baby’s well-being. I do my best to make sure that I eat properly, take my prenatal vitamin daily, read up on and apply pregnancy knowledge, and simply take care of myself while pregnant. However, the one area I have to admit that I have slacked in is exercise. It’s not that I don’t enjoy exercising, because I’ve honestly always loved that feeling after completing a decent workout. This time of year, with Spring just around the corner and Summer (swimsuit season!) immediately to follow, I typically begin a diet focused on portion control, along with a workout regime based on running outdoors (The Concrete Runner is a great blogging inspiration for you fitness mamas!) and a variety of aerobic workout videos. However, I have to admit that during my pregnancy, I’ve definitely become l-a-z-y.
While recently browsing the What to Expect website, my go-to source for most of my information on pregnancy, I came across several articles on the importance of exercise during pregnancy. The one article that spoke to me the loudest stated that not only will it benefit my own body and make it a bit easier to carry the extra weight, but it is also beneficial for the baby! Research shows that babies of moms who exercised during pregnancy score higher on general intelligence tests by age five. That was the one piece of information that I needed to motivate myself!
I found a Yoga for Pregnancy workout DVD that I had used during my first pregnancy (and my son is pretty smart, now that I think about it…), and I finally put it to use! At 28 weeks pregnant, it’s better late than never. Typically when I exercise, I tend to do the kind of workout that really kicks my butt. I like to be sweating, breathing hard, lungs burning, and heart-rate soaring post-workout! But when you’re pregnant, this kind of activity is not recommended, so I have to change my mind about what “exercise” means to me. Yoga is a great activity that promotes stretching, good posture, and more efficient breathing. When I finish the DVD program, I feel like I have more room in my body for myself and the baby. But what I really love about it is that it gives me time to really relax and focus completely on my baby. It provides me with a rare opportunity–other than when I can’t sleep at night–that I am alone with my baby and my thoughts, so that I can feel a deeper sense of connection with my little one. Bonding with my children is important, and usually, so is exercise, and yoga for pregnancy helps me fulfill both of those needs at the same time!
I plan to continue doing yoga a couple of times each week, while my husband gets that time to bond with our other son one-on-one (which will also be great practice for post-birth, when I will need time to recover, rest, and nurse with our baby). It’s a win-win situation!
What kind of exercise did you or are you enjoying during your pregnancy?