Not All Pregnancy Symptoms Can Be Prevented by Eating Right and Exercising

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Maybe it’s just because I’m tired and grumpy and still feeling terrible, but when I read this article recently about Stacy Keibler’s wonderful pregnancy, it rubbed me the wrong way. In it she shares that she hasn’t had one day where she’s been sick or tired. She’s had a ton of energy, and she’s very conscious of making sure she works out every day and eats healthy — so she believes that’s why she’s had such an easy time of it. She hasn’t even had to bend her all-organic, preservative-free, nothing-artificial rules because she hasn’t had any surprise cravings!

It’s true — working out and eating right can certainly help you feel great during pregnancy. I’m still working out as much as I can (once that miserable exhausting first trimester ended!), and I’m enjoying most of my same eats, with a few more indulgences here and there but what also probably qualifies as an obscene amount of cherries and berries. Salads have lost all appeal, but I try to make up for it by eating veggies with dinner and throwing them in smoothies. But despite all of this working out and eating healthy foods, I still don’t feel that great.

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone an awesome pregnancy. My first was so easy I felt like I could do it 10 more times. But my second? Not as much fun and quite a bit more painful. Now, my third? Yeah, I’m convinced I don’t want to do it again. I’ve had roughly the same eating habits and workout habits and lifestyle for all three pregnancies, so what explains the difference in experience? Why is it that this time I’m having so much reflux that my throat hurts? Why is it that this time my pelvic pain has morphed into thigh pain? Why is it that my face was crystal clear during my first two pregnancies, but I broke out like crazy this time? Why is it that the healthy foods one woman loves during the first trimester will have another running for the toilet? It’s just that it can vary — from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy.

So while, yes, it’s fabulous that Stacy is having such a marvelous time — truly! — women shouldn’t feel bad if their pregnancies aren’t the organic, all-natural, nausea-free experiences they’d hoped for. With pregnancy, it’s a mixed bag. You may have almost no symptoms, you may have everything under the sun — or you may have symptoms that come and go like heartburn in the night. But you can’t “eat right” your way out of morning sickness. (In fact, it’s totally normal if the only thing you can stomach is something processed or “unhealthy” like breads and pasta!) You can’t exercise your way out of preeclampsia or a preterm delivery. It all just depends on the hand you’ve been dealt and how the cards fall.

Did you have morning sickness and other pregnancy “fun” even though you ate right and worked out? —Erin


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