Are you pregnant or wanting to get pregnant?  Well, if you answered yes to either of those two questions then this post is for you!  I was reading the Abs Diet Book this evening and it gave me the idea for this post.  Just because you know that your abs are going to be turned into a pile of mush and disappear underneath that bulbous belly doesn't mean you should abandon all exercise and healthy eating.  In fact, it's even more important to maintain healthy habits before, during and after pregnancy for your health, shape and that of your child.  Women who gained more than 35 pounds while expecting were 2 1/2 times more likely to keep the weight on after birth.  You want to shoot for a gain of 25 to 35 pounds.  Studies show that being overweight while carrying a baby increases your risk of pregnancy related problems such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and Caesarean delivery. 
Before Getting Pregnant- Drop your weight and tone up.  Being overweight or obese raises your risk of gestational diabetes and therefore your child's risk of heart problems and birth defects.  If nothing else change your diet and exercise for the health of your unborn child.  Also, getting to a healthy weight is also important if you are considering IVF.  If you're 30 percent above your ideal weight while undergoing IVF, your odds of having a successful pregnancy are low.  Your muscles will quickly remember their pre-pregnancy state and results will happen quicker.
Watch the carbs- Refined carbs such as soda, cookies, fruit drinks, pretzels, and white bread may increase your babys risk of birth defects. 
It is very important you feed your baby food that will fuel their growth and development.  It is also important to keep working out.  Now I'm not saying that you should run a marathon while pregnant but you should engage in exercises that allows you to carry on a conversation while exercising.  The best form of exercise for pregnant women is swimming.  It is is safe on the joints and maintains muscle tone. 
It is important to stick to six small meals a day.  Pair your complex carbohydrates with your protein to keep your blood sugar level steady between meals.  Skip the bread basket and opt for salads with leafy greens and fruits for your source of fiber.  When cravings strike opt for a bowl of greek yogurt with fresh berries to fulfill the sweet tooth or homemade trailmix with granola, dark chocolate, and nuts for the salty and sweet together.  Make sure you drink plenty of water and skip the soda and caffeine.

The average woman puts on 30 pounds while pregnant.  Where it all goes:
Baby: 7.5
Placenta: 1.5
Amniotic Fluid: 2
Uterus: 2
Breasts: 2
Bodily Fluids: 4
Maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients: 7
Body parts, besides the belly, that temporarily increase by one full size:  bust and feet
Exluding the baby's weight, pounds lost immediately after delivery: 11

I encourage you to do something good for yourself and your baby.  If you are considering getting pregnant then now is the time to commit to feeding yourself food that will keep you strong and healthy and provide your baby with the nutrients it needs to grow and prosper.  Why wouldn't you want to start out with a strong body that can withstand the stress and physical changes of pregnancy and childbirth.  I wish that someone had told me the importance of being fit before having my 2nd child.  I had weak knees, a bad back and horrible eating habits.  Therefore I gained way to much weight and am now having a difficult time getting the weight back off.  If only I did my Yoga videos and ate clean I would have been way better off!  Atleast now I can share my mistakes with others in the hopes that they won't do the same!  I have done a lot of research on Eating Clean and I would love to help you make the necessary changes.  I am also an Independent Beachbody Coach and there are a lot of options out there for women to maintain their muscle tone and flexibility during pregnancy.  Please message me for options for exercise.  Beachbody offers many options for low impact activities that can be completed during pregnancy such as Yoga Booty Ballet, baby on the way!  Please message me for more information on developing a plan and reaching your health and fitness goals.  You are not only doing this for yourself but for your future and that of your child!