So many of the bump days are spent trying to acclimate to a new center of gravity or battle the pervasive wish to cuddle your pillow, How, pray tell, are you exercising too? Baby steps, lady. Feed your body goodness and work mellow exercise into your daily life. Yogi, mama-to-be, How You Glow co-founder and all-around goddess Jessie De Lowe helps us figure out how to power through the preg.
As a certified yoga instructor and art therapist, Jessie’s goal is to “inspire people to live the most vibrant life possible.” In the middle of her first pregnancy, Jessie chatted with us about how to maintain that energy and joie de vivre through all nine by incorporating movement and stretching into your weekly grind.
HATCH: What are the best strengthening exercises for pregnant women?
JDL: WALKING! Walk as much as possible– especially on uneven terrain like the sand or on a hiking trail. Walking is a gentle yet powerful full body exercise that is great for longevity without being too taxing on the body. Yoga is also amazing for incorporating the breath, staying open and creating space, which is so important during pregnancy.
HATCH: We recently created a capsule of all of the core workout essentials you need for your preg fitness wardrobe with Bandier: the legging, the bra, the tank, the Capri. We engineered everything so that women can feel as comfortable as possible when stretching, but it’s incredibly important to know your comfort limits when you’re carrying. Is there anything you should stay away from while pregs?
JDL: Stay away from deep twists and heavy core-work during pregnancy. Plank pose is an effective, safe way to strengthen the core muscles, but any sort of “crunching motion” or twisting across the body will do more harm than good. Also stay away from high intensity aerobics that involve a lot of jumping up and down, as it could put added pressure on the cervix.
HATCH: Which areas are the most important to focus on throughout pregnancy and after?
JDL: It is important to focus on the entire body! Balance is crucial, not only throughout the pregnancy, but for after giving birth when you have to take care of your little babe. That said, the pelvic floor muscles are always a good bet for focused strengthening during pregnancy.
HATCH: Any exercises you’d recommend to strengthen pelvic muscles?
JDL: Squats and chair pose are great strengtheners for the lower body! Practice kegel exercises every day. Contract your pelvic floor muscles (the muscle that you would use to stop peeing mid-stream), squeeze the muscles for five seconds and then slowly release the muscles for five seconds. Link your breath with the exercize, inhaling as you contract and hold, then exhaling slowly as you release. Find idle time to squeeze these in (no pun intended!) when you’re sitting in traffic or on line at the grocery store.
Regular exercise is hugely important to keeping your body in check and strong during pregnancy and otherwise, but there are also superfoods that will help you feel stronger and have more energy as your babe grows. If you don’t have time to bake with kale or make your own matcha tea, you’ll surely be into our newest breakfast obsession: Daily Harvest, a superfood smoothie subscription service. Their mango + camu Immunity Smoothie is at the top of our list, in DH’s words, “thanks to the Camu Camu berry, which has 60 times more Vitamin C than an orange.” If you’re feeling those chocolate cravings, try the Cacao + Avocado Power Smoothie, which will give you “the good kind” of fat and a ton of Omega 3s to feed baby brain health to boot. These smoothies come directly to your door—six at a time, on a schedule you set, so getting the good stuff to power through your day couldn’t be easier.