Tips for a Healthy, Happy Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be hard.

But it is also magical.

We are pregnant with baby number three, and couldn't be more thrilled...and slightly nervous with questions from what car should we get to fit all three car seats in to I wonder when we'll be able to sleep again after baby boy arrives??

But this ain't my first rodeo. With God's grace I've been able to carry two babies, Eliel and Ariel ages 6 and 3 full term, but let me tell you mamas!!! This has been my most challenging pregnancy to date.

In an effort to spare you from all the details in this blog post, the effects of extreme fatigue, anemia, nausea, and moving to a new state while expecting has made this pregnancy the hardest. To feel better, everyday I remind myself the gift at the end of the rainbow: I get to meet our baby boy this fall!!!

In my own effort to make this pregnancy as pleasurable as possible, I compiled a list of tips I use and offer to clients when expecting. Check them out and share your own tips with me on Instagram!

1. When exhausted, sleep and rest when possible

Seems obvious, right? Well, not necessarily. You see, I am extremely (and unapologetically) ambitious. So when first trimester fatigue and nausea hit me, I fought it. I tried and struggled to workout, continue coaching dozens of women, and keep the house tidy despite my body beckoning to sit down, woman! In my effort to be obedient to my body's intuition, I gave in. I scaled down on my workload, understanding this was temporary. I also changed my standards in terms of my home needing to look spotless all the time, and asked my hubby to help out with chores more. A big part of this had to do with surrender. My body is my baby boy's property while he's in mama's womb! My goal is to continue surrendering to this fact.

2. Eat small, frequent meals

I am hungry all the time while pregnant. Before I finish my meal, I'm already strategically planning my next--seriously! I noticed that when I ate smaller meals, and ate 5 times or so a day, my nausea improved, and I had more energy. Aim to avoid gorging on large meals. You will feel tons better, I promise!

3. Treat yo'self

Wait, Monica--are you telling me to treat myself with the foods I want even though you're a fitness and lifestyle coach? In short, yes. Yes, I am.

When expecting, it's important you give yourself treats to look forward to--the key is not to go overboard! For instance, I aim to eat nutritious meals during the day, but my cravings strike seemingly as soon as the sun begins to set. Instead of treating myself strictly like a pro fitness competitor, I give myself permission during the season I'm pregnant to indulge daily! My cravings as of late are chips. Oh-my-gosh--chips. Again, don't eat the whole bag in one sitting. Pour out a small bowl and enjoy without regret!

4. Drink More Water

Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. Example: If you're 160 pounds, aim to drink at least 80 ounces of water. Aim to pour the entire amount out in the morning and try to finish it by 3 hours before your bedtime. We already have to pee more than normal due to pregnancy. Let's not exacerbate this anymore than need be. :)

5. Move daily

Some days, you may not feel like moving due to extreme nausea. Don't force yourself to workout on those days. On days you feel okay, aim to move your body for at least 20 minutes. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are great exercises while pregnant. If you did weight training consistently prior to becoming pregnant, you can continue this as well (although I recommend lifting a bit lighter and increasing reps). As always, consult with your physician prior to committing to any workout or meal regimen.

6. Be positive

When pregnant, negative thoughts and fears can creep up in your mind causing anxiety about your baby, birth plan, and everything else you can think of. Don't let your thoughts run a muck. Instead, try this simple method by Mel Robbins to shift into a more positive way of thinking--the next time you begin to think a negative thought, train yourself to count backwards...5...4...3...2...1...and replace your negative thought with an anchor thought. The anchor thought needs to be a happy place you go to. Perhaps this can be imagining a peaceful birth, or celebrating your success with your loved one...whatever it is--train your mind to go there instead of the negative place.

Here you have it! Here are some tips I am using to stay healthy and happy this pregnancy. Which tip did you enjoy the most? Let me know on Instagram!

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