Today, let’s talk about the two most potentially nasty words in the first trimester: morning sickness. Research suggests that morning sickness, which could strike at any time of day, is actually hypoglycemia. Hormonal changes in a pregnant body include an increase in insulin production, which in turn can drastically shorten the amount of time glucose stays in the body. So why does it typically happen in the am? Well, if Susan eats dinner at 7pm and goes to bed at 11pm, and she normally wakes up at 6am and eats breakfast at 7am, at what time will her body’s metabolic function peak? That’s about a 12 hour spread from meal to meal, so let’s say the peak occurs at 4am. But now Susan is feeding two people, and the second person doesn’t rest during sleep but continues to grow every minute. So Susan’s metabolic function is going to peak a couple hours earlier, let’s say at 2am.
However, it’s so early in the pregnancy that Susan’s sleep habits haven’t altered yet. By the time she wakes up in the am she is suffering from severely low blood sugar. Which for anyone, man or woman, that’s ever worked out hard enough to feel clammy and nauseous, it’s not a feeling you want to repeat.
Wondering, how to help your love avoid the dread am Technicolor yawn? Encourage her to avoid skipping meals and to eat small, well-balanced meals every 4-6 hours instead. And if she does feel sick the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends this magical cure: potato chips and lemonade – keep them right in the nightstand. This brilliant combo of sugar, salt and electrolytes usually sounds good to the girl and is quickly digested. That being said, sometimes the hormone situation is just the way it is and it can’t be avoided. In that case everyone just has to wait it out. Most of the morning sickness will pass with the first trimester.
I hope I’ve given you DTB’s and MTB’s a better picture of the inner workings of pregnancy, but it’s never a bad idea to consult a personal trainer for exercise questions when it comes to pre and post-natal training. We’ve covered a lot but there are probably still quite a few unanswered questions like, “To cardio or not to cardio?”; “How many extra calories/day does a woman need during pregnancy and while nursing?“; “What are the best foods for the baby’s development during each trimester?”; “What exercises go with each trimester?” and “Are there exercises that can help the delivery?” Having a trainer that is certified in Pre/Post natal care, as well as one that can interface smoothly with your OBGYN, midwife, doula and massage therapist is crucial. If your MTB has never used a trainer, the next nine months are the perfect time to begin the process!
Attention Dads -To – Be: Your significant other may also be dealing with “loose” joints and hyper-flexibility. Now, I know you’re thinking that sounds great, especially when you’ve always had a fantasy about a contortionist, but in reality it might cause that special lady some discomfort. The second a woman becomes pregnant the hormone factory ramps up production of progesterone, estrogen and relaxin. Relaxin is responsible for softening the ligaments to ease the trauma involved in birth for both the baby and the mom. It focuses on the ligaments of the pelvic girdle, the feet and the ankles. This joint laxity, combined with constant changes to the center of gravity can cause the body to react uncertainly and indeed, clumsily. Remember how fleet of foot you were when growing during puberty?
One unsettling symptom that can occur to the MTB is dizziness and fainting. Usually the cause is dehydration. The kidneys are under increased stress from handling the surge in metabolic waste. Additionally, the woman’s threshold for perspiration is drastically lower. The baby’s core temperature is always one degree higher than mom’s, so mom can overheat quickly even when she doesn’t have a belly yet. She may not be showing, but the oven is on!
Okay, so after being a certified pre and post natal trainer for the past fifteen years, and with over 1000 hours (after that I stopped counting) of training pregnant women I decided to spend some time this week dedicated to dispensing info for the new “Dads –To –Be” because no offense guys, but you have absolutely no clue! And we’re laughing about it behind your backs. I know you want to be supportive, so best to be informed before you open your mouth. Not to worry, first time moms, you can learn a lot too.
Today we’re going to talk about the biggest surprise of the first trimester to the “D.T.B.”’s, what I like to call the “she looks the same but she’s not” concept. Even though the baby is barely the size of a microscopic sea monkey, your spouse may be experiencing the following symptoms: shortness of breath, joint laxity and discomfort, clumsiness, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and fainting. And these symptoms can almost commence with conception. So guys, cut the ladies a little slack and check out the facts so you can understand these changes in behavior.
Blood volume nearly DOUBLES within the first trimester; the same heart you fell in love with is now pumping twice as much as it’s used to. Also, due to the growing placenta and fetus the woman’s metabolic activity increases, which translates to a lot more CO2 output for every exhalation. So the poor girl’s body is working twice as hard just sitting still; you’d be short of breath too!
Tune into tomorrow when we discuss “Hyper-flexibility” and “Joint Laxity” – FUN, FUN, FUN!!!