I’m about to confuse you, because today is Monday, but I’m publishing a #FittaMammaFriday post today.
Why am I publishing a Friday post on a Monday? Well, Friday was Good Friday, my husband was off work, we had friends visiting from out of town, and I really just felt like my place was offline, at home with my family and friends. I hope you can understand, and that you’ll give me a little grace this week with the belated Friday pregnancy post.
Today we’ll talk about pregnancy anemia and exercise at 37 weeks, and we’ll play off of our Easter weekend a bit with a few reasons why eggs are an egg-cellent staple in your pregnancy diet.
Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks
On Friday, I was 37 weeks pregnant. I see my OB weekly now, and he seems to think everything about my pregnancy is progressing normally. The baby looks healthy and handsome in his ultrasounds (they do ultrasounds at every visit in Germany), and his measurements all look great.
My weight gain seems to be leveling out. As I recovered from the Horrible Virus of 2016 three weeks ago I hit my heaviest all-time weight (as in, in my whole life). By last week’s appointment, though, my weight had fallen again by a few pounds* — right back to what it was at the end of my pregnancy with Small Shaw. Here I am at 36 weeks pregnant with her:
We’ll see what these final couple of weeks bring, but I don’t think I’ll gain much more weight (even if my belly continues to look bigger). I’m a big believer in staying active throughout pregnancy, and I think that’s part of why I’ve been able to gain the “right” (according to doctor’s recommendations) amount of weight with each of my pregnancies.
This baby is causing me more discomfort than I remember feeling at the same stage in my first pregnancy, though. Maybe it’s because I’m two years older this time, but my lower back is aching a lot, and the pain is wrapping around my hips and into my side body on both sides of my lower abdomen.
*My weight loss between 35 and 37 weeks was 100% unintentional.
Read more: Should I Exercise Pregnant?
Pressure in the Pelvic Floor
During my first pregnancy, I only remember feeling Small Shaw low in my pelvic floor at the very, very end (39+ weeks), but this time, I’m already feeling Bavarian Baby Boy pressing down pretty hard.
Maybe I don’t actually have to take smaller steps when I walk, but I really feel like I do. When I open my stride up too far, I feel his head heavily, and I simultaneously get a feeling like a nerve is pinched in the front of my right hip.
I’m not sure what any of this means, but I figure that almost anything shy of bleeding and water breaking is “normal” at this stage in my pregnancy. I’m trying to take it easy and not push myself too hard right now.
An Egg-Celent Easter Weekend
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, so I was excited that we got to spend Easter this year with friends. Our daughters are about the same age, we were pregnant at the same time at our last Army duty station, and it was a lot of fun to let them play together. We dyed Easter eggs, had a little at-home Easter egg hunt, explored Regensburg, Germany together, and had a nice Easter Sunday church service and meal.
Eggs: Fun For Easter and Great for Your Pregnancy Diet
The little plastic, candy-filled Easter eggs are a lot of fun for kids, but hard-boiled Easter eggs are a much healthier alternative for everyone. We let Small Shaw hunt plenty of both this year, so we have a mix of candy and hard-boiled eggs to snack on this week.
I’m sure you know that eggs are a great source of protein. Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is important for both momma and baby during pregnancy. You should aim for 70-80 grams of protein each day, and if you’re hitting the gym a lot during your pregnancy, you might need even more.
Read more: Protein for Your Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Beyond the protein in eggs, they’re also a really good sources of a number of other important nutrients, including Vitamin B12, iron, and healthy fats.
B12 is vital for healthy cell development in your baby, and helps your body process all of that folic acid that you’re taking in your prenantals.
Iron is critical during pregnancy, as we’ve talked about before on MilliGFunk.com. It helps your body move oxygen through your blood, and it’s necessary for your baby’s bones, connective tissues, cartilage, and ligaments. And when you don’t get enough iron, it can leave you feeling dizzy, lethargic, and all-around unwell.
Read more: Iron: It Isn’t Just for Pumping
Anemia in Pregnancy
Pregnancy anemia is a subject we’ve talked about a lot on MilliGFunk during this pregnancy, because no matter what I’ve tried, it seems I can’t shake my iron deficiency. I started noticing symptoms of anemia in December, and by the time I mentioned it to my doctor, I was already pretty well anemic.
One of the best ways to increase iron counts is to eat iron-rich meats. Iron-rich plant-based foods are good, too, but my doctor has continually told me to “eat more steak” (a request that I think every man in my life is envious of, but that makes me less than excited). Of course, iron supplements are an option, and in some cases, doctors will give an I.V.-based iron infusion.
Read more: Iron for Your Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Despite my best attempts to eat steak and hamburgers, and despite choking down the horrible-tasting iron supplement (plant-based) I’d been on, my iron levels have continued to drop. By my appointment last Wednesday, my levels were in the “extremely anemic” range. (A good friend here was sent from her OB’s office directly to the hospital for an iron infusion with levels higher than mine.)
My doctor basically told me that as close as I am to my due date, I probably can’t make a significant dent in my iron levels with nutrition. Instead, he gave me a stronger iron supplement and said we’ll keep an eye on things. I’ve been on the supplement now for four days, and although I can’t yet feel a difference in my symptoms, that doesn’t mean the supplement isn’t working.
Read more: Eat Well, Eat Healthy (Vitamins & Minerals for Pregnancy)
Pregnancy Excercise at 37 Weeks
With three weeks left, my freelance work has picked up, we’re getting busy preparing for our summertime move from Germany back to America, and I’m trying to spend the most time I can with Small Shaw. I’ve been having some light-headedness, and my balance is definitely a little bit off-kilter these days. With all of that considered, I’m pretty content staying active, but not pushing it too hard in these final weeks.
Exercise is still safe at 37 weeks, and I’ve seen many women who are still able to do Crossfit, lift weights, and even run late into their pregnancies. I’m very much at peace with my own exercise regime slowing down a bit as our due date gets closer, but I’m also really glad that I was in the gym and at yoga classes as often as I was during this pregnancy.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FittaMamma, who has graciously outfitted me with maternity activewear for my active pregnancy. FittaMamma supports active mammas by offering exercise tips, recipes, and maternity activewear that holds and supports your baby bump!