I wanted to wait until after babys arrival to write this blog so I could comment on how my fitness levels helped with labour and the recovery of delivering a baby. So here we go…..
In terms of helping with the labour and delivery – being healthy & having a good level of cardio fitness definitely did! I won’t go into too much detail (save that for another blog) but I was induced with pitocin/ oxytocin and had no pain relief. I was up walking around within the hour and drove myself home 36 hours post birth.
Being pregnant and continuing at the gym is hard work but I’m so glad I did it!
Every trimester has you over coming barriers to keep up with your workouts.
1st is obviously the sickness, dizziness and tiredness. Cardio sucks, weight training sucks actually movement of any kind is awful! Mind over matter is what got me through 6 weeks of feeling horrid working out. I wanted to continue throughout the pregnancy and was not willing to quit for a few months and go through the pain of getting my body used to the gym again! That and my gym buddies and instructors.
2nd trimester is the growing bump. Making movement more difficult and cumbersome. I actually found myself becoming distracted by the babys movements. I even had 1 memorable moment of teaching completely the wrong choreography because I’d blanked out whilst wondering what the baby was doing. Out of the 3 trimesters though 2nd is the easiest. Once that nausea starts to go away and your energy starts returning the gym becomes a fun place again. 2nd trimester is when I qualified to teach and let me tell you I did a lot of training for that. It was not easy and not something I’d have been able to do in trimester 1 or 3.
Moving onto the 3rd trimester well that was different. I’d never experienced being any more physical than a long walk whilst pregnant. To still be doing push ups, squats, lunges and weight work 2 days before giving birth was something I hoped for but never thought I’d actually do! As my bump grew my workouts did reduce per week and I had my own way of executing the moves. I’d stick to low options and modify where and when needed to keep myself and baby safe.
At 2 weeks post partum I was happy to feel my abs. A celebration for me as I’ve not been able to feel, squeeze or brace them for about 4 months now! Elliott may have came out as 1 of my smaller babies but my bump sure didn’t look small!
At 3 weeks I felt ready to start a little strength and core work. Just 30 mins a day and not pushing myself too much. Beginning exercising again without a bump was strange. I must have over compensated movements with the bump as simple exercises like squats felt weird, almost like I’d forgot how to do it without a belly. I did enjoy the fact my push ups got a whole lot easier without the extra weight though!
At 4 weeks post partum I introduced cardio. Again just 30 minutes and every other day. I’m pleased to say I can still do it! My body feels good and I’m pleased I stuck with the gym throughout the pregnancy as I could never have done this with my previous pregnancies.
Week 5 it’s all starting to hurt as my body sales back up to exercising! My belly still looks a few months pregnant- not helped by all the carbs I’m craving whilst nursing Elliott but it’s nearly time to get back to the gym! 6 weeks and I’m clear to go back and baby can go in the creche. I’m excited to start training and instructing again.
In conclusion if your already in an exercise routine and become pregnant I would highly recommend continuing! (With the OK from your medical provider of course)
As an instructor, I will take my own experience to help ladies in the future who come to our classes in all stages of pregnancy to continue to enjoy their fitness lifestyle.
Here is a cute pic of my little one doing a push up 😁 I like to think he got those muscles from his momma!