Are you pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant? You're probably super worried about everything that goes into your body: food, vitamins, alcohol... and of course, water. We talked to Desi Bartlett, a celebrity yoga trainer and prenatal expert, about pre- and post-natal hydration and the importance of keeping fit throughout pregnancy:
Why is it important for mothers-to-be to stay active during their pregnancy?
Exercise has many benefits during pregnancy including;
- Better posture
- Relief of back pain
- Stronger muscles in preparation for labor
- Improved circulation
- Increased energy
- Quicker recovery time after labor and delivery
All of these benefits allow us to feel more comfortable, and more empowered in our changing bodies throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Why did you decide to create a program for mothers during and after their pregnancy?
As a life long exercise enthusiast and teacher, I had a lot of challenges try to find the right movement for my body during my first pregnancy. I felt like Goldilocks — some workouts were too big (too intense and not safe), and others were too small (too gentle and kind of boring). I knew that I could call on my education and professional experience, as well as my own experience during pregnancy, to create something that felt 'just right.' I wanted to acknowledge that labor is very similar to a marathon, and that we need to train for endurance and strength, while still recognizing that the body of a mother is a beautiful expression of grace. This grace can be expressed through meditation, deep breathing, and expressive movements that honor the pregnancy.
What advice do you have for mothers-to-be with regards to prenatal hydration?
The pregnant body has different needs: additional folic acid, moderate increased caloric intake, and of course increased hydration levels. In addition to the mom's hydration needs, the placenta needs an additional 1/2 cup of water per hour. What goes into the mommy, is what creates the building blocks of the baby's cells. I am picky when it comes to the water that I drink, and especially the water that I recommend for my clients, because it is going to the baby too. My favorite is Essentia water because it goes through a rigorous purification process, has added electrolytes for taste and has a unique ionization that removes acidic ions to achieve a high pH of 9.5.
What are the benefits to staying hydrated for the baby?
Baby benefits from a healthy mommy — body, mind, and spirit. When mommy has proper hydration levels, she is less likely to be fatigued, and to reach for sugar or caffeine, both of which are contra-indicated during pregnancy. Additionally, more than half of our bodies are made of water. It is completely logical to want to choose higher quality water for mommy, as baby will be receiving her fluids and foods. Water that has the proper pH and is 'clean water' is great for Mommy and baby. When we look at tragedies in the US when there is a contaminated water supply, we can see the importance that water plays in our lives. As I mentioned, Essentia is my favorite water during pregnancy. Pregnant women deserve the best, because they carry our future!
What are the steps to staying hydrated and nourished through pregnancy?
It is important to eat regularly, and to stay hydrated. A pregnant body at rest, isn't really at rest; it is safeguarding, and feeding a little boy or little girl (or multiples!). High quality fuel/good food is what Mommy and baby need for proper energy levels, as well as for the baby to thrive and grow. Hydration is often overlooked, but is integral to Mommy and baby's health. Mommy's mental acuity, energy levels, ability for cellular repair and renewal, and many many more factors are effected by proper hydration. One of the easiest ways to think about eating is to eat the rainbow. Consume foods of every color, as each one will give you different health benefits. Oranges, broccoli, pomegranites, quash, etc... all have different vitamins for the pregnant body. Think of the rainbow that shines through the rain. The rain is proper hydration. Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere you go so that you do not get thirsty. As you probably know, as soon as you are thirsty, you are already slightly dehydrated. Give yourself and your baby the best: high quality organic foods and high quality water, like Essentia water.