The Cut: A magazine writer describes how she coped with sleep problems during pregnancy.
No pregnant person wants to hear that they should exercise more. But as my doctor put it, “Whatever kind of activity you’re doing, do it as much as you can.” Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Health, was even more emphatic. “Everyone should exercise in pregnancy,” she told me. “It’s important on multiple fronts. Not only does it make you sleep better, but it also helps get higher oxygen delivery to the fetus.”
In the cold, isolated, pre-vaccine days of last winter, making myself exercise required a literal departure from reality: I got my hands on an Oculus headset and hurled myself around my living room using a virtual-reality fitness program called Supernatural. In real life, I was bloated and couldn’t even fit into my sweatpants, but once I put the headset on, I became a dragon-slaying warrior goddess in faraway lands.
In the spring, after I got vaccinated and the weather improved, I started taking outdoor fitness classes and walking as much as possible. Every day, I waddle out to get lunch from a place about a mile away from my apartment. It doesn’t always feel great to move, but I’m always glad I did when I get into bed at night.