Tracey Mallett Interview: Part 2- Prenatal Fitness

interview with Tracy Mallett

Tracey Mallett

It's one thing to want to stay in shape for you, but now you have to think about not just your health, but also the health of your baby growing inside of you.

Tracey Mallett, fitness expert and mom of two, who has already filled us in on tips for losing that post-baby weight, shows us the importance of fitness and healthy eating habits while you're expecting:


What are the benefits to exercising during your pregnancy?

Light to moderate exercise is an important part of feeling your best during pregnancy and bouncing back into shape afterward. Working out gives you energy and, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), may provide some relief from pregnancy symptoms such as backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling as well as reduce your risk of gestational diabetes and help you sleep better (something that's not easy, especially as your belly expands and your baby starts kickboxing). For some women, like me, exercise also helps curb morning sickness.

How intense should your workouts be in each trimester of pregnancy?

During your first trimester you can continue with what you were doing pre-pregnancy with the consent of your MD. You should never exceed your pre-pregnancy exertion. It's not advised to start a new kind of exercise program in your first trimester wait until your second trimester.

In the second trimester start to monitor your exertion level in your workout by performing the talk test. This is when you should always be able to hold a conversation through exercise. If at any time you cannot do this then you need to bring down the level of intensity.

In the third trimester, your body will naturally tell you to slow down as your body gets bigger to move around. Always listen to your body and never work out to exhaustion. Take breaks when needed and have plenty of water at hand all the time.

Does having a good exercise routine relate to an easier pregnancy or delivery?

Absolutely! A stronger mom is not only able to have an easier pregnancy due to the strength in their hips and core to decrease lower back pain and sciatica but can also decrease labor time by developing stronger pelvic floor muscles to push the baby out.

Is it safe to do abdominal workouts?

Yes, it's safe to perform specifically designed abdominal exercises that are modified for pregnancy. The exercises should focus on the deep transverse abdominals that support your spine and your pelvic floor. By the time you hit your second trimester you should NOT be continuing with your regular abdominal routine especially lying flat on your back.  

What would your advice be for moms who have cravings that are unhealthy foods such as ice cream?

Always opt for a low fat alternative such as fat-free ice cream or even yogurt as a healthy alternative. It's also better to eat a small amount of what you're craving or resist and end up eating too much of something that just doesn't satisfy your craving.

What are foods that pregnant mamas should avoid?

Raw and undercooked meats. A parasite in both of these things can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis. It's also found on unwashed fruits and veggies (so scrub them before you eat), in cat litter boxes (have someone else change them), and anywhere outdoors where animal feces may be found.

Fish that contains mercury. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest that pregnant women, nursing moms, and young children avoid fish and shellfish that are high in mercury. Mercury can harm a fetus's or young child's developing nervous system. Don't eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish, and limit fish lower in mercury (like shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish) to 12 ounces per week.

Unpasteurized milk and milk products. These may contain listeria, a pathogen that can cause listeriosis, which can be harmful or even fatal to pregnant women and their babies. These include soft cheeses and other foods made with unpasteurized milk

Nuts if you have a family history of nut allergies.

Exactly how much more should you be eating when you're eating for two?

You actually only need 100 extra calories a day in the first trimester and just 300 extra in the second and third trimesters. The latter is the equivalent of a small bowl of cereal with milk, two scrambled eggs with cheese, two slices of toast and an egg, or a bagel. (If you're having twins, that number increases to 500 more calories daily).


Such great advice!!

How far have you been pushing the "eating for two" excuse? Are you keeping your additional calories to just 100-300 more per day?

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