Exercise + Pregnancy = Confusion

It’s not secret- I like to be active and ‘fit’. I value the ability to move and thank God daily that my body can move, there are people all over the world {and probably next door as well} that aren’t so blessed.

I became pregnant in early December and had been working out on the elliptical for the winter months and running outside when the weather would permit. I kept on running and exercising because it made me feel good and helped me with feeling so tired and lethargic during my early stages of pregnancy. Also, I think it helped me stay pretty level emotionally throughout the day so that I  could relax during the evening and pretty much pass out.

Sleeping on couch with Kiee

Proof from the husband- I would pass out at about 8:15 or 8:30 every evening….

I needed to make my body move- for a million reasons.

  • Helped level out my pregnancy hormones
  • Made my body feel alive
  • Alleviated minor aches and pains
  • Made me feel like I had accomplished something
  • Wore me out— which lead to a lot of early bedtimes.
  • I knew it was healthy for me & BABY!!

“A body at rest stays at rest. A body in motion stays in motion.” I believe this and it was my mantra…..

Week 15

I was keeping pretty active!!

….until I went to my first doctors appointment with a regular doctor.

Up till mid February, I had been going to my fertility specialist doctor to check into our baby and make sure that baby was doing well. February was my first appointment with my new OB-GYN. My new docotor shared this:

The Pregnancy Exercise Rules-

  • Body temperature NOT to go over 102
  • Heart rate can NOT go over 140 bpm
  • Do NOT lie flat on your back
  • For every 10 minutes of exercise drink and extra 10 oz of water
Uh-oh I think to myself when he states these rules. {this was also the appointment where he said I should only gain 20 pounds, 25 tops.}

I started to get short of breath about the fact that I had been running and gotten my heart rate over 140 bpm, quite a few times….. I have a naturally hight heart rate, it’s just me. I was NOT out of shape at this point, infact, I was in pretty good shape when he broke the Pregnancy Exercise rules to me. This was shocking to me but I thought ‘okay, he’s the doctor’ and listened to what he was saying. I walked out of that appointment wondering what was going to be best for my baby.

I investigated my workouts deeper after this appointment and found that walking briskly got my heart-rate over 140 bpm. I couldn’t even jog for 200 yards without my heart deciding to beat about 155-160. I called my sister and proceeded to complian and freak- what was I going to do?!?! He didn’t want me to gain any more than 20 pounds (10 of which I had already gained!) and then, I can’t work out?!?!

Geeze Mr. Doctor– we are no longer friends!….. like at all.

So, I spent the next four weeks trying to figure out what my body needed to grow our healthy blessing.  {as I type that, she/he just did a flip. See, baby loves to move!}

Our active little blessing!  Baby H

Our active little blessing!

Four weeks pass and I did more research, finding that the whole 140 bpm is outdated info. It’s a blanket rule. Kind of like saying that every teacher likes coffee {which is true btw} BUT- Everyone’s heart rate is completely different and having a catch all rule is not the way to go . So, after I spend a good month freaking, and not having the above mentioned benefits to me exercising, he tells me that…… “oh no, you can continue to do what you normally have done.” So, that’s what I’ve done… I’ve been keeping active. :)

I’ll share how I’ve been keeping active in another post soon and my new kind of exercise rules. But what I really wanted to share was— DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT FOR YOU!!! 

We all have gut instincts- we need to follow them.

Question: When have you let someone tell you your instincts are wrong?

Obviously, the first doctors appointment, I let him tell me I didn’t know my own body. Right now—–> I’m loving doing what I feel is right for my baby! Happy mommy means a happy baby. Am I right?

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13 responses to “Exercise + Pregnancy = Confusion

  1. That would have made me SO angry. You don’t HAVE to stay with a doc you’re not happy with. There’s no way that you should only be allowed to gain no more than 20lbs… that is a super low number for someone who isn’t overweight to begin with (such as myself and even the 20lbs was negotiable depending on your body). It’s easy to freak out, but you’re right… do what feels right for you. :-)

  2. I’ve been wondering about the whole exercising when pregnant thing! I’ve heard many times that if you’re relatively active when you get pregnant, it’s fine & encouraged to keep up that same level of activity. But what do I know? I’ve certainly never had a kid. I’m sure everything is such a learning experience your first time around!

  3. I’ve heard multiple doctors tell me not to worry about heart rate but just be sure you can carry on a conversation. So if you’re running and chatting with a friend, you should be fine.

  4. Good for you! You have to do what feels right for your body and the baby!

  5. ittybitsofbalance

    Okay, your doc and I need to sit down and have a serious talk with all of this info he’s telling you! I’m so much like you in that I LOVE to be moving. If I feel like I’ve been lazy or have been sitting too much, it drives me up the wall. Glad to hear you can keep moving though :)

  6. I never trust doctors, so I would get second opinions (from non-doctors) on everything I was told. I do now.

  7. My husband constantly takes pictures of me when I crash early on the couch :) So glad you are confident in yourself, and doing what feels right. Excited for you!

  8. You poor thing. I would’ve been so angry after hearing my doctor say “oh okay, well continue doing what you’ve been doing’. Unfortunately you can’t take back time :(… but you can get back to doing workouts that work for you and make you smile and feel good :)

  9. Im so glad you are back to doing what makes you feel good! Yes, that is the best for your baby, he/she is getting all of your feel good hormones and that is awesome.
    Not sure about all these rules your doc has, maybe he’s old school?
    I am 38.3 weeks now and am at 30 lbs, Dr is very pleased with this weight gain and even siad 35 lbs is fine too.
    Also, was told that as long as I can carry on a conversation while exercising then heart rate was fine. My heart rate is always elevated (80′s) just sitting on the couch while pregnant. That’s just how I do pregnancy.
    Love the little ultrasound photo! To cute. :-)

  10. Oh sorry that appointment was such a bummer — glad you got it figured out. I think you are TOTALLY right. And all teachers do love coffee. Haha. It’s a must!

  11. I’m no expert or anything, but I did take a Nutrition Across the Lifespand class that addressed pregnancy nutritional needs/gains and if you were a healthy weight before conception then you should be gaining 25-35 lbs…so 20 pounds seems low to me.

  12. for a second there I was starting to get a little nervous that you had a psycho doctor! Glad that everything is working out though :) If it makes you feel good to exercise, i feel like that should NOT be a bad thing at all!! You’re gonna be one fit mama!!! :-)

  13. I feel so bad for you, definitely do what you think is best for you within reason. My doctors (both women who have 3 kids each) encouraged me to exercise daily. They also encouraged me to eat ice cream everyday. In fact I worked out the day each of my kids were born naturally and my labors were 2 and 4 hours. They are both healthy, active and very smart 5 and 6 year olds. I felt great during and after pregnancy, if you were exercising before pregnancy you know what your body is capable of and what you need to do to make yourself feel best during pregnancy. Good luck and I would certainly recommend finding another doctor for your next pregnancy.

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