“There’s absolutely no way I would have taken a pregnancy test without seeing my Oura data…It took us over a year to get pregnant with our first and then the very first week we started trying for our second, I couldn’t believe it when I saw my temperature bump in Oura. I had just finished breastfeeding and my period hadn’t even become regular – but, sure enough, I was pregnant!”
Laura is an avid runner, weight lifter, marketing professional, and the proud mother of two boys, Jackson and Greyson.
With her first pregnancy, Laura found it easy to stay active. However, when she became pregnant with her second child in 2018, she was hit with a wave of symptoms that included morning sickness, headaches, and exhaustion.
Laura was able to use her Oura Ring to monitor her recovery, plan her active days, and stay more in touch with her body throughout a difficult pregnancy.
Pregnancy is highly individual and differs from person to person or even one pregnancy to the next. Laura shares patterns in her data in the hopes of helping others who may have similar experiences.
Laura originally purchased her Oura Ring to help with training and recovery but realized soon after becoming pregnant that the patterns it revealed could uniquely help her with her pregnancy journey:
“Part of the problem is that so many trackers, like the fertility and tracking apps, don’t address your whole body. They are just about your uterus, your ovaries, or the stage of development your baby is at. Oura was able to actually help me see the whole picture – when my heart rate was changing when my nights became more restless and the impact that had on my body…”
She used her Oura data to help prioritize self-care and recovery:
“For me, Oura is like having that friend that always gives you good advice and sometimes you roll your eyes at her but she keeps you honest, you know? She’s always there caring for me – telling me to go to bed early, and take care of myself. Without her, I would normally only take a recovery day once or twice a month but she tells me – No, you legitimately need a break, you need a breather. It helped me mentally reinforce how to listen to my body.”
What Patterns Did She Discover?
Oura Helped Her Spot Becoming Pregnant
In 2018, as Laura and her husband headed to Oregon for a hiking trip, the possibility of pregnancy was far from her mind. It had taken them over a year to become pregnant the first time and Laura was expecting the same delay, but she spotted something unexpected in her data.
“I was tracking my Readiness and temperature every day and I saw my temperature went up and stayed up for a few days. And that was my first alert. I’d been tracking my cycle so I started thinking – this is the first time we tried, there’s no way I’m pregnant! It was an exciting way to find out, I didn’t even know I was ovulating yet.”
Reflecting on her data, something clicked for Laura: “There’s something magic about being in nature…We got pregnant the first time backpacking in Patagonia after a year of frustration trying. Sometimes your body needs to reset from stress and when you stop trying is when it suddenly clicks.”
Oura Helped Her Monitor How Active She Could Be
Laura’s two favorite training tools during pregnancy were her twisty-tie running shoes (that didn’t require bending over to lace up) and her Oura data. She used her Readiness Score and heart rate graph to tell when to push and when to take it easy.
“I wanted a balanced pregnancy. I knew that I had that athlete mindset and my tendency is to push myself and be an over-trainer! So Oura helped me remind myself again and again – I’m not trying to gain, just maintain.”
On days when her heart rate didn’t lower in the first half of the night or her Readiness Score took a dive, she would pull back on her activity levels. Here’s an example of “take it easy” signals she spotted in her Oura data:
“I was able to go on runs and go to OrangeTheory classes up until a few days before I went into labor and I do attribute a lot of that to Oura helping me realize when my body was telling me to take a break. If my Readiness was low or my body was strained, I’d go for a very light jog that helped me get the blood moving without stressing out my body. I got the mental benefits without pushing too hard.”
Oura Helped Her Optimize Recovery After Giving Birth
One of the most humbling experiences, Laura shares, is how her body responded after giving birth:
“I’d been feeling great at 38 weeks and then all of a sudden I gave birth and had to change completely what my body was capable of doing. I wanted to be running and training and getting my body back but all of a sudden I couldn’t even do a push-up. I went from 5-minute planks to barely 10 seconds. There was a new normal for my Readiness and it was low. ”
But she didn’t let that dissuade her. Instead, she changed what she was maximizing for:
“My doctor had told me most women need 6 hours of sleep a night to start restabilizing their hormones so that was where I focused my energy – optimizing my recovery. If I didn’t get those 6 hours at night, instead of having a workout, I’d be prioritizing my naps. When I made time for that recovery, I could tell my body was so much stronger the next day and I could push a little bit more to get my strength back.”
Tips From Laura
- Limit late-night snacking: “The number one thing that sets up how I feel for the entire day is if I eat too close to bedtime. It keeps my heart rate high and throws me off, throws my blood sugar sky high. Use trial and error to see what works for you! But for me, I have to stop before 7 PM and a 16 hour fast helps.”
- Coordinate bedtimes with your partner: “When you get to know your own sleep patterns, you can work with your partner to make sure they aren’t coming in when you’re in light sleep. I have my husband wait a bit if he’s coming to bed later than I am, so that I can be in my deep sleep phase and nothing wakes me up.”
- Know yourself: “People can have really strong opinions about working out during pregnancy and I was surprised at how many people tried to shame me for what I was doing. But I knew myself and I knew my body. I’d spoken with my doctor and other women who were on the same journey. There’s so much misinformation out there when it is so much more important to get to know and listen to your body. I can count three times in my pregnancy where I started a workout and my body didn’t feel right and I listened right away.”
What’s Your Oura Story?
Everyone’s story is unique. Share yours with the Oura Community, or just give the Oura Team an update of where you are in your health journey!