You see those little pink lines appear and you are officially pregnant. You tried so hard to get pregnant, or maybe it came easily, or maybe you were excited, scared or surprised when you found out. Regardless of how you got here, you are pregnant and now you are trying to navigate this new and ever changing experience.
The Next Nine Months:
If this if your first pregnancy, you will notice quickly that things change quickly. First Trimester starts to really kick into gear and safe to say it could be kicking your butt. Between the anxiety of ‘shoulds and shouldn’t’, the excitement to ‘do all the planning’, the exhaustion and ‘all day sickness’, you are probably feeling different! On the days you are able to peel yourself off of the couch or bathroom floor, you try to stomach anything that resembles a carbohydrate.
Second Trimester and things are hopefully shifting. Your energy is returning a bit, and you feel less and less nauseated as the days go by. Now is when you start to wonder, should I take it easy and finish that marathon of Netflix? Or should I hit the gym just like that #fitpregnancy goddess on Instagram? For some Mamas this decision is pretty easy and natural.
And finally the third trimester arrives! You are nearing the end, yet this feels like the longest of the three. Your weight really starts packing it on now, you can barely see your feet, how are they supposed to walk around the block let alone get to an exercise class!
Many doctors will tell you to just maintain what you were doing before you became pregnant - If you weren’t overly active before then now is not the time to start training for a 10km. If you were doing Crossfit 3x a week, doctors will tell you to ‘listen to your body’ (whatever that means!)
I would like you to consider just a couple thoughts:
*Birth is likely the biggest and most difficult athletic event your body may go through.
*Your body is changing at an alarming rate as you GROW A HUMAN.
Now these two statements may seem to contradict one another; one says slow it down Sally, while the other says, girl, you better get in shape if you want to birth this thing!
I strongly believe that with the right guidance anyone can start a fitness journey while pregnant. Let’s prepare the body for carrying that extra weight, your complete postural shift, and for the event that is childbirth. We can start fairly basic with walks, squats, lunges, and some back work. Studies have shown that working out while pregnant is great for the mother and the baby, and can increase the odds of an easier delivery.
If you are already engaged in an exercise routine, you may want to think about the idea of ‘can’ vs ‘need’. I can still go for a long run at 30 weeks pregnant, but do I need to? Could I still get the same cardio benefits from a spin class or even a brisk hilly walk outside? Have I considered what some of the exercises are doing to my posture, my core and my pelvic floor?
I have been in your shoes, two very different pregnancies. First, I was overly active and pushed myself too hard to maintain the #fitpregnancy image. And the second I took it easier and exercised with my body instead of against it. I could still do hard workouts when I wanted to, but I also understood that my body didn’t need those intense pushes all the time. In so many ways pregnancy prepares you for motherhood!
With the overwhelming number of things you want to get done during your pregnancy, caring for your body is often not a priority for most moms. Eating healthy is often on the radar as we know the food we eat is “feeding two”, but caring for the vessel that is carrying our baby can often go without mention. Many moms wait until after childbirth, when concerns have come up, to book an appointment with specialists such as a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, but did you know that a session prepartum is very helpful? Getting an idea of how your alignment, core and pelvic floor are doing while your body changes can help you significantly after childbirth.
Another great idea is to speak with a Pre & Postnatal Certified Personal Trainer, who can help guide you through starting your pregnancy exercise program, or help you adapt your workouts to ensure you are exercising for the long haul and not just pumping up your #fitpregnancy ego.
I am happy to help! You don’t need to scrounge around the internet on your own, there are lots of resources out there and I would love to help you connect.