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Pregnancy, nutrition and exercise.

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by lostmind, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. lostmind

    lostmind Well-Known Member

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    So... while my wife and I aren't 100% sure, we may be having a child this year. My wife is one of those skinny fat girls, who looks decently good without ever doing too much exercise and zero dieting.

    But she wants to become more fit and healthy during this pregnancy while giving baby all the best nutrition possible. Any advice for weightlifting/cardio she can start up? She is a total beginner when it comes to exercise (I think she did a half dozen yoga classes a few years back and that's about it).

    We've been doing internet searches for weeks on this stuff, but there is very little real advice out there on the net that we can find. Most baby centric sites say basic stuff like - eat several small meals per day, eat more fruits and veggies, don't eat swordfish, canned tuna and shark. To stay in "shape" take a 15-20 mins walk each day. Which honestly, isn't very helpful.

    We eat 4 meals a day with a couple snacks already. We eat fairly healthy, but my wife loves to snack on chips. She's cut that out already (which isn't easy on her), she's taking a pre-natal multi vitamin (with folic acid) but we are curious about fish oil/omega 3/CLA supplementation. _EVERY_ fish oil/omega 3/CLA supplement we've found says not to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Heck even protein powder has this warning on it! Why? Is it such a serious concern? It's just food, right? It can't be worse for you then eating mcdonalds - which we see lots of pregnant women eating!

    We have an appt with the doctor tomorrow and plan to bring this up with him but were wondering if anyone has any prior knowledge of this subject?

    Thanks!
     
  2. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    The fish oil advice is a mercury-related thing. Large fish are generally more contaminated, and if she becomes pregnant, this concentration could harm the fetus. Likewise, as you mentioned, she should not eat shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel, and should limit her albacore tuna consumption.

    In revising a broader advisory on the dangers of eating seafood with elevated levels of mercury, the government plans to issue cautions to women of childbearing age, as well as young children, to have no more than one can of tuna per week, an FDA spokesman tells WebMD.

    For omega-3 needs, she can supplement with flax oil.

    I don't know if you're joking about the McDonald's. Sure it's harmful to your heart and your arteries maybe, but generally mercury free.
     
  3. lostmind

    lostmind Well-Known Member

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    Err, I wasn't trying to insinuate mcdonalds had mercury in it :)

    I was more or less making a bit of a joke about poor eating habits.

    On the mercury content of omega 3 fish oil based products... if it's been molecularily distilled... wouldn't it be free of mercury contamination? I recall reading that somewhere. Time for more google'ing.

    You know, flax seed oil is something I had forgotten about. I've stopped using it myself in favour of fish oil based products. Thanks.

    I just find it odd that both my protein powder and my omega 3 supp have the pregnancy warning label. I guess I was thinking it's a blanket warning thing to protect the supplier.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. FBChick

    FBChick Active Member

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    I'm sure your doctor will point you down the right path, but personally if she is already pregnant, right now isn't the best time to try and overhaul her workout routines.

    The main reason why you won't find much is that most recommendations is that trying to make drastic changes can actually be more harmful to both the mother and the unborn child. During the pregnancy, her body will be going through some pretty drastic changes already and adding to that stress level can be too much.

    That being said.. some advice from one who has been through it twice. Walking is probably about as strenuous as she is going to want to go right now. Reason being is that pregnancy will raise one's core tempurature and you will not want to start working in exercises that will increase it that much more, especially when the body isn't adapted already to handle it. For the first 3 months, she's probably safe at slowly working up speed and distance, but then after that she should level out and maintain for the duration.

    Yoga and body weight exercises are also other decent options. Again, you need to watch the intesity and "hot" yogas are out, but I actually got introduced to yoga by a nurse while pregnant with my first one and found it a nice relief once I got too akward for most compound lifts. Lifting is not a good idea for her to get into now, as her body's tendons and joint will begin to loosen up, making heavy load bearing exercises actually unsafe for her.

    On the nutrition front, fixing the diet from a nutrition stand point is her best overall bet to avoid excessive weight gain and have her in a good position to make the leap to getting in shape after the baby is born. As far as supplements go, I would run everything by your OB-GYN before taking anything, but chances are he won't recommend needing much, as the pre-natals are quite strong vitamins loaded with just about everything she needs. I personally don't see any need for her to get on anything like a protien powder.. it won't provide her with anything more then she can get from a good ol fashion chicken breast and isn't worth risking it, IMHO
     
  5. lostmind

    lostmind Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    The protein powder is a way for her to have a quick and healthy breakfast in the morning. She really enjoys the biotest metabolic drive vanilla flavour protein powder, blended up with half a cup of blueberries, half a banana and some skim milk. I think it's a bunch healthier then grabbing a croissant/muffin at the coffee shop by her office. As a side note, the doctor today said that was fine but wanted her to try and take the time to cook a full breakfast (which honestly we do on most mornings, it's just once in a while we get a bit rushed in the mornings).

    The exercise routine... well the doctor actually recommended she do something as opposed to her regular routine of sitting on the couch :) He recommend starting out at a low intensity on the elliptical (because we mentioned we had one at home) for at least 10 mins a day to start and ramp it up 5 mins a day. He said she shouldn't go too hard, but should work her way up to at least 30 mins a day and no more then 45 mins. He also said that since we are only 7 weeks in, that starting a light weightlifting routine would be perfectly fine. He just cautioned her to take it easy again... but said that until very far along in pregnancy, weightlifting is perfectly healthy. He also recommended yoga. In his experience, fit women have a much easier time delivering and just seem to have a better pregnancy overall.

    Basically he said our diet was one of the best he's seen. We eat a lot of organic food, a lot of veggies and fish, several smaller meals, etc. He felt that our diet, the prenatal vitamins and the folic acid supplement should be more then enough to keep everyone healthy.

    Now I gotta go figure out how to be a dad...

    Thanks again for the advice everyone. It's appreciated.
     

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