Exercise during Pregnancy

It is a common misconception that during the 9 months of pregnancy, exercise is not allowed, or that it even can be dangerous to a pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy (and if you are concerned about a work-out affecting your pregnancy then please seek medical advice) then exercise is most probably one of the most beneficial things you can do throughout your pregnancy – even if you have never exercised before! Pregnancy is a great time to begin and heres why…

 

1. Fights Fatigue

Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy (I mean you are making another human here, if that’s not tiring, then I don’t know what is!). Starting as early as 4 weeks and for some lasting right up until week 40 the chronic, intense tiredness can be a true downer on a daily basis. Already well known to be a fighter of fatigue, new research shows that the cure may be as simple as doing a small amount of exercise every day (even if it is the last thing you feel like doing). Even better, new research shows the best type of exercise to combat fatigue is low – intensity exercise. So if pregnancy fatigue has hit you hard and you really don’t feel like a torturing workout at the gym, it actually can be as simple as lacing up your trainers and going for a walk round the block! 

2. Prepares you both mentally and physically for birth

Having strong muscles can greatly ease labour and delivery, why? The strength helps them to push the baby out more effectively. Being able to manage your breathing, having a healthy heart etc. all plays a massive role in pain endurance during labour and in the case of a long labour (hopefully not the case) exercise massively aids by teaching the body pain endurance. In other words, a stronger, fitter, pregnancy equals to a stronger, fitter woman during labour.

3. Bowel Movements

A really unspoken, yet ever so common (and ever so uncomfortable) symptom of pregnancy is constipation. Exercise increases movement in the intestines, therefore increasing bowel movements. 

4. Relieves the aches and pains

A pregnant woman’s body is growing another human, and alongside that other human, with all the other extra baggage, like the placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, totals to a minimum of an extra 10kg of weight that her body has to carry around with her. In turn, this extra strain can cause all types of aches and pains, especially the back. Exercise increases the strength and posture of the back,  butt and thighs by toning them up, making carrying that little baby love around just that much easier!

5. Activating that lubricating fluid

Due to hormonal changes the joints throughout the body become much looser which in turn may cause joint ‘wear and tear’. Exercising helps activate the lubricating fluid in the joints, keeping them in tip top shape!

6. Promotes a healthy weight gain

Exercising during pregnancy ensures that less fat weight is gained. With less excess fat gained during the period of pregnancy it means that post birth you can be on your way to getting that pre-pregnancy body back much quicker than if you hadn’t exercised at all!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Okay, before I start this post you’re probably already aware that the title states ‘breakfast bowl’, however, my picture of this recipe is on a plate – that is purely for texture purposes so you can see how the dish looks like, but in a more normal situation, I just advise you to eat it from the same bowl you mixed it in!

An awesome recipe to start your day with as a sweet breakfast or even as a quick, sweet snack throughout the day. Not only does it taste like dessert but it’s at the cost of nothing as only made with pure goodness! Try it out and let me know what you think! 

 

I N G R E D I E N T S 

Sweet potato (roughly 300-400g but depends on how hungry you are)

1.5tsp shredded coconut

2tsp all natural peanut butter

pinch of the following;

  • ginger powder
  • nutmeg powder
  • cinammon powder
  • cardamom powder

2tsp of honey (varies depending on how sweet you want it)

 

R E C I P E 

  1. Steam or microwave the sweet potato, wait for it to cool down and then scrape out of the skin into a bowl
  2. Mash the potato with a fork until it has a smooth consistency
  3. Add all remaining ingredients
  4. Mix well with a fork, make sure it’s all mixed and mashed in
  5. Sprinkle with some shredded coconut for decoration
  6. ENJOY!

 

 

10 Things No One warns you about in First Trimester

1. Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is all day sickness, morning sickness actually means all day and all night sickness. Whoever came up with the term ‘morning sickness’ obviously lied. The thing with this ‘morning sickness’ that we hear about before pregnancy is that it actually hits at any time of day, sometimes all day, every day, accompanied by dry heaving, gagging, actually throwing up. Sometimes this ‘morning sickness’ is so bad that the only time you get a break from it is when you’re sleeping, oh but wait, point number…

2. Insomnia

From the moment you find out that you’re pregnant you may spend many of your nights awake, at the beginning you’ll just assume that it’s because you’re so excited at the wonderful news, but as the days go on, you begin to notice that you are never sleeping, you don’t care about the reasons why and frankly you just want some damn sleep.

3. FDW Syndrome

You expected this to hit you only later on in the pregnancy but actually it seems to have hit you now and you’ve only just found out that you are pregnant, what?! If you’re wondering what FDW Syndrome stands for – Fat Deflated Whale Syndrome. You used to be the most active non-lazy person, but now everything has changed. Whilst you may not have gained any weight, for some reason you still feel fat, lazy and whale like. You have absolutely no will to do anything in life except for chill on the couch, consume carbs to get rid of the nausea, and pray your way into second trimester. (I know none of us actually do that, but a girl can dream right?)

4. Pregnancy Bloat

Technically speaking we don’t actually start looking pregnant until the end of the first trimester due to the fact that our uterus only rises out of the pelvic cavity around week 11.  Lies. You actually have started looking 5 months pregnant even though you’re only 7 weeks gone. Thanks to pregnancy hormonal changes you have a bloat, a bloat that is so round and bump like you’re considering switching to maternity clothes already.

5. Tightness

You have an increased sense of everything. Everything feels so tight (doesn’t make sense, because you actually haven’t gained any weight, but hey, it’s pregnancy, nothing makes sense). Clothes feel like they get tighter the more you move, you either live in your partner’s clothes, or you wish you could walk around naked – but for fear of being arrested you don’t do that. NB. underwear is totally an unneccesary feature in your life, why have you been wearing it until now?

6. Fatigue

Growing this poppy seed (size at 4 weeks pregnancy)  into a lime (size at 12 weeks pregnancy) is a tiring task. Whilst you may not have announced your joyful news yet, you are yawning your way through work meetings, and conversations with friends and family, making yourself seem like a heartless, uninterested, tired A-hole.

7. Hating your dog

All of a sudden your dog will have this smell which you could swear he/she never had before. You’ll consider giving him up for adoption purely because you can’t stand the smell. (Okay, a little exaggerated but really, did our dogs always smell this way?)

8. Hiring a personal slave

You find that due to your lack of ability to do anything, you hire a personal slave and you don’t pay them. Sometimes you will refer to this slave as ‘husband, boyfriend, partner.’ but for the majority part of the time he is your slave and your wish will be his command otherwise you are getting a divorce.

9. You are a cry-baby

You are definitely not the type of woman to cry in front of others, or cry at bambi (bambi isn’t even that cute, c’mon). Now all of a sudden you’re bawling your eyes out at anything you deem ‘cute’. Like puppies, or babies, or you know, the fact that your husband looked cute whilst driving you to the supermarkets and you realise at precisely that moment that you’re just so in love with him and for some reason now you’re crying about it like a baby – making him in turn wonder what he did wrong this time.

10. No symptoms at all

You meet some fellow pregnant women who don’t seem to suffer any of the symptoms you are having, or in fact any symptoms at all. So you then come to this conclusion

  • they are aliens, or something else but definitely not human and you definitely cannot relate to them
  • these symptoms simply must hit them at some point in the upcoming weeks, if not, there is something wrong with them (in reality some women really just have a wonderful first trimester and yes we hate them)
  • you must cease all conversation with them because they for sure cannot understand you and they do not belong in the ‘first trimester club’ if they’re so happy then please, they should just skip onto second trimester. (Yes, we are jealous of you, and no we have nothing to speak about until we reach second trimester.)

Should we forget ourselves when we become mothers? 

#4

Somtimes as mothers, we get so lost in ‘being mothers’ that we completely forget to take care of ourselves. We get lost in the whirlwind  of making sure our little loved ones have all their needs met, that they are forever first on our priority list and we truly forget that we are human beings also, that albeit few, may have needs too.

The ability to put your children before you in every way is one of the most beautiful abilities a woman can have, not only does it mean that you are a selfless, loving and nurturing soul, but it also means that your children are lucky to have such a personality as a role model in life. However (there always is a ‘however’), maybe as mothers’ we never realise that sometimes forgetting about ourselves and who we are as an individual can have a negative effect on our children too.

I believe ever so strongly that in order to make others happy around us, we must truly be happy and fulfilled within ourselves – I believe this even more so when it comes to our children. I want to make mothers out there realise that, being a mother and being YOU although can be mixed are two separate parts of life, one dependant on the other. A happy and fulfilled you, automatically makes a happy and positive mother. I came to learn this with my own personal experience as a first time mother with my wonderful baby boy…

…At some point in his first year of life I lost myself and I thought I could only be a great mother if it was all about him. I for sure didn’t do anything for me as I would be overpowered with feelings of guilt and would feel selfish. How dare I do something for myself? As you read this I am sure a lot of you can relate to these feelings, especially as first time mothers. In time I came to realise that in my goal of being the ‘perfect mother’, I was actually making myself miserable because I was losing myself and if I was miserable my little baby was only soaking up these emotions and for sure it could only have negatively affected him, feeling his mother so frustrated (never underestimate your child, they feel EVERYTHING).

So after he was a year old and I realised that my initial supermom tactics weren’t working I decided to take another route, I started doing little things here and there that made ME happy, they didn’t have to be time consuming, just little things that I could identify ME with, such as, getting my nails done, taking 20 minutes in the morning to actually do my make-up, making myself my favourite breakfast on the weekend instead of just eating leftovers etc. you see, making yourself happy doesn’t mean getting a pamper session at a spa every day of the week, but instead, remembering who you are and the things you like the most and trying to incorporate them into your everyday life. Sure enough I started being a much more happier and fulfilled version of myself and I saw a much happier and fulfilled baby as a reflection of my actions.

Our children are our mirrors, a reflection of our innermost feelings because long before they can even speak they can pick up on how we are feeling internally, so use your children as an indicator of the vibes which you may be giving out.

If you’ve ever travelled by plane before you’ll know that they state, in case of emergency, always fit YOUR oxygen mask first and only THEN proceed to helping your child/children. Do you know why they do that? Because in this scenario unless you are breathing well first you cannot help your children to fit the oxygen masks and enable them to breathe safely too. You must take care of yourself first in order to be able to care for your little loved ones. And yes, that does apply to every day life.

So remember doing little things or making little changes, starting from pregnancy and throughout the rest of your childrens’ lives can make the biggest difference in all of your lives. So throughout the Pregnancy Diaries I will be posting all kinds of little tips on what I do to make myself the happiest mother, whether that includes eating well, organisation skills, family activities, all the little components of every day, that add up to make our life. YOUR LIFE, so live it well, full of positive energy and happy vibes!

The Announcement #2

So, the official announcement has been made, you know what that means right? The OFFICIAL PREGNANCY DIARIES has begun!! Pregnancy is such a beautiful (as well as hard) point of life that comes with many surprises, changes and a whole lot of fun. I can’t wait for you to join me on this journey and everything that comes along with it! Below is the link to the first official VLOG for the pregnancy diaries, any questions? Don’t forget to ask me! I’ll catch you soon on the next post!

With Love,

Chocolate mommy OXO

Amateur Parents

Can we really say that we ever know a person? A person changes with life events, emotions, hormones, maturity and so many other factors. We as humans are never the same person we were yesterday because we are not robots, whether we are forever changiing for the better or the worst (maybe a bit of both?!). One thing for sure is, that we are always changing. 

A great example of this in my life, was when I became a parent, I truly thought I knew Mihai (my husband), but then again how could I know every part of him? I didn’t know him as a father as he’d never been in played that role before. So when we did finally become parents to our little love, I saw yet another side of him that I’d never seen before, in the link below are just a few things which we learnt about each other POST baby. Some cute, and some not so cute. Every one a learning curve 🙂 Enjoy!