33 Weeks Pregnant; My Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Today marks the day that I’m 33 weeks and four days pregnant. Yes I feel HUGE, and yes I’m still working out. Granted there are days where I would rather say in bed (usually after a rubbish nights sleep with sore hips!) but nine days out of 10, I’m up, dressed and out the door by 8am for an hour’s workout.

My workouts have definitely relaxed a little. I’m mainly doing low impact cardio on the cross-trainer or bike and bodyweight exercises, after all with all the extra weight I’m carrying, I’m still placing a huge demand on my muscles so they’re ultimately getting stronger without the need for dumbbells.

I’ve also had to cut out things like lunges and one legged exercises as my pelvis was getting sore, and I was worried I’d get Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain, which is pain in the front or the back of the pelvis, buttocks, groin and/or radiating into the thighs, and caused by the extra pressure on the pelvis, due to additional weight of growing baby and of course the dramatic changes in posture. I can still do lots of squats though so I’m ok with that 🙂

Now with all these workouts, there are a few fitness essentials that I just COULDN’T live with out at the moment, so here they are. I hope they help you too!

Mama Mio’s 9 Month Stretch Kit by Tracy Anderson
Now I’m not usually a fan of Tracy BUT she has had two children and looks fantastic. There aren’t many fitness experts that have documented their pregnancy for others to see and follow, so for that reason I actually like this DVD – she’s obviously been there and done it. There is a DVD and workout for each Trimester plus the Boob Tube 
Bust firming cream and Tummy Rub Butter 
are two of my fav products! The bust firming cream made such a difference in a matter of days – they definitely felt smoother and firmer! A great package to see you through your pregnancy.
£102.50; http://www.mamamio.com/uk/the-9-month-stretch-kit.html

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REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer
As my body is changing by the day, there are days where I’ve just felt far too body conscious to go to the gym and wanted to hide away (I know!)
Although I usually love the gym environment, my REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer has come to the rescue for those days where I’ve just wanted to stay at home but still work up a sweat. It has 32 levels of electronic resistance, which means you can modify the intensity of your workout to suit your needs, plus their are 12 pre-set programmes, a distance and heart rate monitor.
I know this is an expensive piece of kit but there was a method to my madness. I thought it would be ideal for when the baby is here and for when I am able to exercise again after my 6-week checkup. When she is sleeping, then I have no excuse not to get a mini workout in. I can jump on it without leaving the house plus pop the TV on whilst doing it and catch up with Sky+ to distract me.
£599; REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer

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Shock Absorber Sports Bra
Need I say more? Your breast shape changes dramatically when pregnancy so it’s vital you support them to avoid back pain and sagging! What’s more, recent research from Shock Absorber has found that over a third of exercisers (35%) are still not wearing a sports bra despite two thirds (65%) admitting they frequently experience breast bounce when exercising. Pregnant or not. if you are exercising then you should be wearing a sports bra!
£31; shockabsorber.co.uk

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FittaMamma High Support Top
I
t’s tempting to live in black when you’re pregnant which is why I love my Hot Pink FittaMamma high support sports top. 
It boosts an unique back panel spreads the weight of your baby onto your back and shoulders (like a quality sports bra!) whilst strong elastane content hugs your bump to help you feel lighter and more comfortable. It also has a built in sports bra and a firm waistband that feels super-secure around your hips. When I wear mine, I feel well and truly held in!
£49.99; www.fittamamma.com

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Three ways to stay stretch mark free during pregnancy

Research suggests that stretch marks, those small, depressed streaks in the skin that appear mainly around the stomach in the later stages of pregnancy have a lot to do with genetics: If your mother or sister got stretch marks during pregnancy, you’re more likely to get them, too. Other studies show that younger moms, particularly teens, are more prone to getting stretch marks.

The key to keeping them at bay is to make sure you don’t pile on the weight too quickly. The recommended amount of weight during pregnancy in most cases, is 25 to 35 pounds. Gaining it slowly may help reduce your chances of getting stretch marks, as will drinking lots of water, which helps keep your skin cells plump and supple.

Foods rich in Vitamin E (seeds and spinach), zinc (beef and lamb) and silica (celery), will also help to form collagen, while Vitamin C (oranges, peppers) in particular is an important antioxidant that helps protect tissue from damage, while helping it to form collagen.

There are also lots of fantastic creams on the market that are designed to be used day and night to keep the skin hydrated and smooth and help build tensile strength.

Here are three of my favourite that I have used everyday of my pregnancy. At 34 weeks, I can safely say that I’ve not got an inkling of a stretch mark – I must be doing something right…

1) Zita West Beautiful Belly Balm
This restorative moisturiser from fertility and pregnancy guru Zita West contains all natural plant extracts, designed to help keep the skin of your stomach in good condition throughout pregnancy.
It’s really rich, smells gorgeous – and is not greasy making it perfect to put on in the morning before you get dressed.
£18.95; www.zitawest.com

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 2) Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter
This is great for all over protection from stretch marks as a little goes a long way. It’s made with super-elasticising Omega 3, 6 and 9’s oils to help build your skin’s strength and has a rehydrating shea butter base, making it super thick, and really smooth to apply.
£23; www.mamamio.com

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3) Fushi Really Good Stretch Mark oil
Rubbing anything unnatural on my tummy is a no-no for me, which is why I love this stretch mark oil. It contains Holy Basil, known for its superb skin healing powers and renowned benefits for stretch marks, African Baobab oil, which holds the properties of omega 3, vitamin E and D, and is ideal for scars, blemishes and stretch marks. The oil is a little greasy but keeps my  skin hydrated for hours, which is why I like to put it on last thing at night.
£14.45; www.fushi.co.uk 

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32 weeks pregnant and counting…

I thought I would give you a quick update as to how I’m feeling.

I’m now 32 weeks and yes still working out five to six days a week but starting to wake up more tired and also feel the effects of working out with a little person inside of me. It’s not a case of sitting down on the mat for tricep dips and then just getting back up again. Everything is taking that little bit longer. I feel like a granny 🙂

Saying that – my energy during the day is still good and I’m setting my alarm on my phone to remind me to eat every three hours. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a slap up meal every time my alarm sounds but I will head to the kitchen and have a big glass of water and a healthy snack like some avocado on rye bread or hummus or veggie sticks.

Sleep – it’s ok. I have one of these amazing pregnancy pillows from Mothercare – which I recommend to EVERYONE! (I even got my husband one because it kept stealing mine!) Sleep is so important for recovery an growth and there is tons of research out there also that says it can help stablise your blood sugar levels and stop you reaching for sugary snacks. There is alot to be said for 8 hours a night – if you can get it!

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My pregnancy pillow from Mothercare is definitely my new best friend! http://www.mothercare.com

Top pregnancy supplements to help look after your bump

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Eating a healthy diet is always a good idea, especially during pregnancy, but since falling pregnant 32 weeks ago, I’ve taken a pregnancy supplement every day without fail to help cover any nutritional gaps in my diet.

Even with the most solid diet, it’s extremely difficult to make sure that you’re getting enough nutrients for both you and baby. While I don’t recommend going crazy with the supplements, there are a handful that have been shown to help with pregnancy and your baby’s health.

Here’s a round up of what I’ve found to be effective:

Solgar Prenatal Nutrients Tablets

Solgar is a brand I’ve always trusted and I took these for a good few months before I fell pregnant.

The NHS recommend you have 400 microgram of folic acid every day while you are trying to get pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant, which is why I like this supplement.

Each tablet has the perfect amount of vitamins/minerals, without exceeding 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), except for iron (which is supposed to be higher for pregnant women anyway, to help fight fatigue).

It also had an adequate level of folic acid, which as I said before is extremely important prior to conception as the neural tube develops in the first 30 days of pregnancy (before most women know they are pregnant) and supplementing folic acid can prevent many cases of conditions like spina bifida.

Viridian Pregnancy Complex 

I like this brand because it has a healthy amount of DHA, which is vital for helping your baby’s brain develop. You can get DHA from eating fish such as salmon, sardines and herring but what with my morning and afternoon sickness, the last thing I wanted was fishy fish!

It also contains a healthy dose of vitamin D, which is good for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and is needed to keep bones and teeth healthy.

The NHS recommend you take a supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day when you are pregnant and if you breastfeed to provide your baby with enough vitamin D for the first few months of its life.

Zita West Vital Essence 3

I knew of Zita West, since I had read many of her books when planning to conceive, so it was a no brainer to try her  supplements, which are tailored to suit each trimester. You take one, three times a day with food and they will then provide you with everything you need to safeguard your everyday diet, including 400mg of folic acid plus lots of protective ingredients such as Beta Carotene (a safe way to help support your intake of vitamin A), copper, magnesium, manganese and zinc, all of which support normal cell division and help to protect DNA.

I also brought her Vital DHA, which you have twice a day and contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids (necessary for baby’s brain development, and to ward off inflammation), plus a small amount of zinc.

Please speak to your doctor or health adviser before taking any supplements. 

The Perfect Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy is NOT the time to diet. It’s not the time to eat for three either. Eating for two is fine but your diet needs to be rich in whole foods rich in nutrients to create a healthy balanced plan to nourish you and your baby.

But what should you eat and how much? It’s easy to get it wrong, which is why I signed up for the Doll Curves Perfect Pregnancy Plan, especially as I hit my last trimester – the all important one, when my baby is growing bigger and getting ready to face the big wide world.

Founded by Celebrity Personal Trainers and Fitness Models, Sarah McLean and Lydia Rees, my Doll Curves plan gives me weekly nutrition advice to keep me healthy and well during my last trimester. It also reminds me that I only need to eat an extra 200 calories a day – the equivalent to a large banana!

Here is a round-up of what I’ve been eating over the last week and why it’s so good for me…

Breakfast

Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Blend ¼ gluten free oats, ½ cup of CO YO coconut yogurt, 1 banana, ½ cup Kara coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
The benefits; Bananas are great at reducing fluid retention and swollen ankles – a common side effect in pregnancy. ‘They are also rich in potassium and the perfect energy booster,’ says Sarah.

Snack
120g Unsweetened Greek yogurt with blueberries
The benefits; Yogurt is full of ‘good bacteria’, which helps balance the good/bad bacteria within the body. ‘Yogurt is also rich in protein and calcium, which is good for you and baby’s growing bones,’ says Sarah.

Lunch
Annabel Karmel’s Chicken Pitta Pockets 
Chicken, ½ avocado and watercress pitta pockets with chopped tomatoes and a side salad.
The benefits; Avocados are loaded with folic acid, vital for forming your baby’s brain and nervous system, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which can help your baby’s tissue and brain grow. Watercress can also help aid digestion, while the protein in chicken will help every cell in your baby’s body to grow and develop.

Snack
Hummus on organic unsalted rice cakes with chopped vegetables and 20g unsalted almonds, brazil nuts or walnuts.
The benefits; Raw vegetables will keep your immune system strong and the unsalted rice cakes with hummus are a great source of slow release carbohydrates and protein.

Dinner
50g wild rice with ½ cup streamed green vegetable and Annabel Karmel Salmon with tomato salsa
The benefits; ‘Wild rice is rich in fibre and has an excellent effect on the gut wall,’ says Sarah. News has it that women who eat oily fish, like salmon during pregnancy are also more likely to have brainy and sociable children. Just make sure you don’t have it more than twice a week.

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