With the joys of pregnancy also come the exhaustion, aches and pains. While it's tempting to kick back on the couch and watch a whole Real Housewives marathon in one sitting, getting active is going to make you feel better, and it's going to ensure a healthier pregnancy, and ultimately a healthier baby (which of course is the end goal!).
Pregnant yoga instructor, Extra Lifestyle Correspondent and wife to Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Baldwin, is due with her first child, a daughter, at the end of the summer. Here, she shares her tips for a healthy pregnancy.
How has your workout changed since becoming pregnant?My cardio softened quite a bit. I still did some spinning and jogging at the beginning, but you have to be careful not to get your heart rate up too high because the baby can't sweat. Later in my pregnancy, I started swimming more and I do yoga every day. As your belly gets bigger, you have to widen your stance in yoga. If you're squatting down, you need to make more and more space so your growing belly has room to breathe.
Do you think yoga is something all pregnant women can benefit from?Some women are on bed rest or have other health considerations, but if your doctor suggests you exercise, then yes, I believe that all pregnant women should do yoga. It's incredible for hip, lower back and foot pain, restless leg syndrome, circulation, and just the whole body and mind in general. It can also help with the delivery. A strong core and flexibility can really help with labor.
Do you ever think some women focus too much on getting their body back even before they have the baby? What advice would you give women who are worried about their bodies not bouncing back?My advice is don't let your body run away from you when you're pregnant—stay active. I know it's frightening to not be so thin, especially being someone who's been thin my entire life. But remember that you're doing something that is beautiful. You are creating life. It's your responsibility to take a step back from your vanity for those 40 weeks to do what's right for your child. Many studies I've read have said that exercising (with your doctor's approval) and not letting your body run away from you promotes the best possible pregnancy and the best health for your child.
Have you seen changes in your skin since you've become pregnant?No, other than a blemish here and there. I think one of the reasons I haven't really had any problems is because I started moisturizing my skin from day one. Once you become pregnant you think a lot more about your overall health and well-being— your skin included. Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash has been an incredible addition to my beauty regimen because it is gentle and has shea butter so it keeps the moisturizers on your skin even after the cleansers rinse away. So I never feel dry.
Pregnancy has its perks, but it can also bring on some not-so-attractive side effects (acne, hair loss, indigestion, etc). How do you manage to feel confident and sexy while pregnant?I work out every day. Not only does that give you endorphins and adrenaline that carries you throughout the entire day, but it also promotes circulation. In an expanding body, staying active keeps everything at bay. During pregnancy your body is supposed to grow and you should embrace that womanly figure. In the end, taking good care of your body makes you feel good as well.
You always look great. What's your best maternity style secret?A Pea in the Pod has great jeans. But it's important to also understand that you don't have to wear maternity clothes. Most of my clothes aren't. Recently, I learned that you can wear a skirt as a dress just by adding a belt. It's the best thing ever!
What's been the most surprising thing about pregnancy?Feeling the baby kick! You know from the start that the baby's going to kick, but when you really feel it, it is such a wonderful and bizarre feeling at the same time. It just makes you cry because you're so happy. The second most surprising thing is not being able to remember anything. I had no idea about pregnancy brain!
The most exciting?Getting to know your baby. I haven't met her on the outside yet, but I feel like I know her so well. I'm at the point now when I'm really getting to interact with her and if I talk, I feel her respond.
The scariest?There are a lot of medical tests and waiting for test results can be scary, but yoga helps me through that [stress] a lot.
What's been the most fun for you to buy for the baby?The gear! We were really excited to get our strollers. We have two: the Bugaboo Chameleon, which I'm really excited about. But I definitely need a tutorial on how to use it—there are so many levers! We also have a Graco stroller and car seat combo. The other thing that I wanted, right from the beginning, was the Mamaroo. My friend had one and her baby was the most content baby ever! It has a car mode, a wave mode, there's music that plays, and so I immediately went out and bought it, although my husband pointed out that I was only four months pregnant at the time!
What's the sweetest thing your husband has done for you since you've been pregnant?I had one really crazy pregnancy moment when I wasn't feeling well and didn't eat dinner. Around 1 AM, I popped out of bed and said that I needed to eat right then! I had never done that before and I was almost in tears. Alec ran downstairs, but we didn't have that much food in the house, so he brought up melon and almonds. He just watched me while I inhaled all of it, then went back to sleep.
Have you dropped any hints about a push present?I didn't know about push presents until someone explained it to me. Ultimately, my present is the baby. But knowing Alec, he's very generous and he always spoils me. He's a total sweetheart, but I'm not really big into presents. She's the real present, so we'll put a bow on her!
TELL US: How are you staying fit during your pregnancy?
Image of Hilaria Baldwin courtesy of Olay.