If you follow along with me on Instagram you probably know that I have 3 beautiful babies, Enzo our son and twin girls Francesa and Isabella. I found out I was pregnant with the twins when Enzo was 6 months old! Yup, I was basically pregnant for 2 years straight.
Fitness and nutrition are a huge part of my life thanks to my husband, Sal. He owns a supplement company called 1stPhorm so I’m sure you can believe that diet and exercise mean a lot to us. On top of that I am an aesthetic nurse so beauty treatments really are a norm. The tricky part of all of these things is that during pregnancy eating, fitness and beauty routines have to be adjusted! In this blog post I’m going through what I did before getting pregnant to support my body, how I ate and worked out during pregnancy, and what beauty treatments to avoid or keep while you’re pregnant!
When we knew we were ready to start trying for a baby I had my IUD removed and started a new supplement routine right away. On top of my normal protein supplement and fish oil I added pre-natal vitamins. I ate super clean during the time we were trying to conceive and I limited my alcohol intake. As far as beauty goes I continued all beauty treatments until I saw that lovely little “+” show up on the pregnancy test! I also made sure my fitness levels were up so that I was in good shape before I got pregnant. It’s much easier and safer to keep up with a fitness routine you already have upon getting pregnant versus trying to start something new after you get the news.
Fitness During Pregnancy
During pregnancy it’s usually safe to continue almost anything you were doing before fitness-wise. We shouldn’t start any new kinds of exercise because the strain on the Mom’s body and muscles requires more resources to be sent to her muscles for healing. Things like protein and minerals are now being split between her healing needs and babies growing need. You don’t want to be healing torn muscles while also trying to create new tissue and muscle for the baby.
When I was pregnant with Enzo I was very active! I continued lifting weights and did Barre classes throughout the entire pregnancy which was awesome since it’s a low impact, total body workout. With the twins it was a lot harder to have the energy and motivation to workout. Identical twins share a placenta so it is considered a high risk pregnancy. I never pushed my limits. Growing two babies was pretty hard on my body but I still lifted weights, no more than 25lbs with the girls, and I would get in light cardio where I could. I kept moving my body every single day and it was a huge help. I felt better mentally and physically. It also aids in blood flow for baby and helps stimulate placental perfusion which is the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Staying active even helps with swelling and labour, and of course elevates our mood.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
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During my pregnancy I ate well but of course the strawberry snow cones and burger cravings took over every once in a while. I honored my increased proteins needs by enjoying PHORMULA-1 protein shakes (tons of flavors) post workout, and the Level-1 meal replacement protein as a breakfast or snack. I had fish 2x week, smaller, more frequent meals, high protein and lots of water, hydration encourages better nutrient delivery to the baby!
When I was pregnant with Enzo my husband Sal did a ton of research to formulate the perfect prenatal vitamin! What a husband, right?! Don’t be fooled by the free ones from the OBGYN, they might not be as well absorbed into your body or be as high in the vitamins and minerals you really need. 1stPhorm has a package called the Joy Bundle which includes their Prenatal Plus and Full-Mega, this set didn’t exist when I was pregnant with Enzo but I took it religiously with the twins. The Prenatal has 100% Daily Value of the B-Vitamins, minerals, Vitamin E, A, C and D and obviously folic acid plus a ton of other good stuff it really is a powerhouse vitamin! Plus this is a bit of ginger powder in it to help with digestion since prenatals can often cause an upset stomach.
The Full-Mega is a high quality fish oil which has DHA fats (important for baby’s brain and yours!). And the last supplement I include is Opti-Greens 50 are great for bloat and motility. It is recommended to avoid stimulants during pregnancy. This means no fat burners or pre-workout. Coffee is okay, especially if you drank it before. I stuck with 1 cup a day after the first trimester.
My Pregnancy Supplement Regimen
At the end of the day I ate the best that I could. Reminding myself that what I eat is what is growing my babies helped me combat cravings on many days. At the same time it’s still important to have treats in order to keep mental sanity! Keep in mind that ‘eating for two’ is generally taken out of context and all we really need is a 300 calorie increase per day on average!
Once I found out I was official pregnant I discontinued anything unsafe or anything that hasn’t been studied during pregnancies. This includes botox, fillers, all lasers, coolsculpting, Latisse, and certain topical acids. If you’re unsure ask your OBGYN, better to be safe than sorry!
The good news is there are still great treatments you can enjoy while pregnant! Those include microneedling which tightens pores, brightens skin and stimulates collagen, and it’s also safe to have dermaplaning done and facials!
Skin Care Routine During Pregnancy
It’s always a priority for me to stay on top of my skin care routine even while pregnant! It is true, that some products are not recommended duing prgancy, and I typically adjust my patient’s skin plans while pregnant. The good news is that most of the products stay the same with the exception of the exfoliating acids, specifically Retin A/Retinol and salicylic acid for whic I sub with the Litel Lytic Tx product, which is deemed pregnancy safe.
With hormone changes and fluctuation your skin can absolutely change during pregnancy. Although even medical grade products cannot completely eradicate those lovely pregnancy breakouts, they can certainly help minimize, reduce, and treat them way faster.
Here is an example of a wonderful pregnancy skin care regimen I recommend for morning and night:
- RFA Gentle Cleanser – Foaming or Creamy 2 in 1 Cleanser + Mask
(Option to use with Jane Iredale Magic Mitt)
This dual purpose product helps to calm redness and gently cleanse the skin without stripping vital oils, which can promote irritation and dryness. The non-reactive formulation includes soothing Evodiox, which is derived from the Chinese evodia rutaecarpa plant and reduces redness, as well as two additional key ingredients – Ginger Root to promote even skin tone and radiance; and Bisbolol, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Used as a mask, it may remain on the dermis for 3-5 minutes before rinsing off. Great for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Fragrance and Propylene Glycol Free. Application: one pump for use, the product will last for 5 months.
- Radiant Vitamin C Serum
A high potency antioxidant formula that fights free radicals and protects against the effects of photo-aging. Combined ingredients of Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic Acid to brighten and smooth skin texture, while antioxidants enhance retinoid effects and protect the skin from oxidization and elemental damage. Stimulates new collagen growth and fortifies the skin’s dermis. Use 3-4 drops in your fingertips and lightly rub or tap into the skin. Wait 5 minutes (ex. brush your teeth, do your hair) and then apply SPF.
- Face Reality Sulfur Spot Treatment
(if needed for acne)
Is a gentle yet potent combination of 6% sulfur and an innovative peptide that provides an instant fix for red and inflamed acne lesions. Unlike other spot treatments, our Sulfur Spot Treatment is effective without harsh ingredients, strong odor, and calms and soothes irritated skin. Not only will you see an immediate decrease in redness, this spot treatment won’t leave behind any pesky dry patches and will accelerate the skin’s healing process. Application: spot treat any blemishes with this AM & PM or as needed.
- Elta UV Clear 46
This is a dermatologic moisturizer & sunscreen combo with 46 SPF. This also contains zinc oxide which reflects the sun off the face. I love the tinted version!
- Youthful Eye Cream
Ultra-Hydrating balm formulated for the eye area to help restore a vibrant appearance around the eyes. Daily use provides the following benefits: helps reduce signs of aging, moisture-infusing Hyaluronic Acid helps plump, reduces skin puffiness with caffeine, refreshes the eye area with a component of chamomile extract, alleviates the under eye darkness, consists of a trio of emollients for moisture, and moisturizing lipids with hydrating glycerin help promote suppleness and smoothness. Application: apply to skin area surrounding the eye morning and evening.
- RFA Gentle Cleanser – Foaming or Creamy 2 in 1 Cleanser + Mask
Pre-cleanse – Gentle Cleanser
At night we want to do a “double cleanse.” I recommend using a foamy cleanser first to pre-cleanse and remove makeup and debris from the skin followed by a second cleanse. Doing a pre-cleanse at night to remove makeup or product from the day is crucial for optimal skin health. It ensures that no impurities are left behind.
Apply foamy cleanser to dry skin, slowly add water with finger tips to emulsify makeup and product using circular motions. Once emulsified, wet the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt (or use a makeup wipe or gentle wash cloth) and gently wipe away the foamy cleanser. Do this until all the cleanser has been removed.
Second Cleanse – Deeper Cleanser
This second cleanse is used with treatment cleanser for night that foams up or lathers. This cleanser is tailored to your skin type for a deeper cleanse to remove the most impurities while leaving your skin soft and clean. This cleanse is used on pre-cleansed skin to achieve max results! For most skin types, this cleanser can be used with finger tups and circular motions.
Tip: 3x a week, use your favorite cleansing brush or RFA Exfoliating Scrub 2 in 1 with this second cleanse!
- RFA Exfoliating Scrub – 2 in 1 Scrub + Mask – This dual action cleanser + scrub is formulated with 1% Lactic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy acid (AHA), which increases water retention, keeping the skin hydrated. It also helps to exfoliate the skin and improve pigment, without irritation.
Hydrated silica is non-abrasive, and provides additional manual exfoliation of dead skin cells. A fantastic product to alternate with your everyday cleanser, using once or twice a week. May also be applied as a mask for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. Fragrance, Paraben and Propylene Glycol Free. (alternate with your current cleanser 2-3x a week. I usually leave mine in the shower!) Pro Tip: paired with Lux Pads or other weekly pads, RFA Exfoliating Scrub will offer a deeper cleanse, and acts as a great at-home facial tool in place of dermaplaning.
- HydraLipid Moisturizer – Richly textured, luxuriously hydrating moisturizer helps replenish moisture and guard against dehydration while revitalizing skin’s appearance. This moisturizer helps replenish skin’s natural moisture barrier with cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides. Helps smooth appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while renewing the feel of suppleness and softness. Fragrance free, steroid free to use daily for continuous moisturization. This product is wonderful post pad use, peel, peel pads, or dry skin.
- Forever Young Eye Cream – Ultra-Hydrating cream formulated for the eye area to help restore a vibrant appearance around the eyes. Daily use provides the following benefits: helps reduce signs of aging, moisture-infusing Hyaluronic Acid helps plump, reduces skin puffiness with caffeine, refreshes the eye area with a component of chamomile extract, alleviates the under eye darkness, consists of a trio of emollients for moisture, moisturizing lipids with hydrating glycerin help promote suppleness and smoothness. Application: Apply to skin area surrounding the eye morning and evening
Although there were many small changes in my routine during pregnancy with diet, fitness and beauty, they were easy switches and of course 100% worth it. Staying active and keeping my nutrition in check really made a huge difference in how I felt throughout my pregnancy but also labor and hopefully has benefitted the health of my children for their whole life!