Move it, Mama!

I remember when I decided I was ready to get pregnant.  I wanted so badly to have a natural birth! I read books, watched documentaries, and researched midwives.  I remember joining a yoga studio by my house (whose regular members were way cooler than me and frequently showed off their advanced moves while I relented and went into child's pose to rest) to try to become more in tune with my body and get stronger.  I would do down dog and my shoulders would cramp up and I would think to myself, "if you can't do this, how can you handle a contraction?!" Luckily (or unluckily) for me the two were nothing alike, and (aside from the practice I got breathing through it) no matter how strong I was I still had no idea how to prepare my body to handle a contracting uterus.  You can't really practice before the big day.  

One book I read told me that while exercise during pregnancy was fine, it wasn't the time to embark on a new exercise regimen.  Today an article from NPR suggested that a recent study in the Journal for the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggested that for the vast majority of pregnant women, exercise is helpful during pregnancy- even if you weren't very athletic prior to.  Obviously moderation is key, as is communication with your health care provider, but movement during pregnancy can keep excessive weight gain at bay and lower the chances of certain illnesses.

Movement during pregnancy can take a lot of different forms, from swimming to yoga to walking among other activities.  The biggest key would be to find something that you enjoy doing, so that you keep at it.  Bartlesville offers a lot of great options too, with great pools, the amazing Pathfinder trail, and several fun class options like yoga, zumba, ballroom dance, spin, and weight training. I personally liked walks on pathfinder with friends and yoga (the mini nap at the end was the icing on the cake!).