So I was asked a question about my fitness regime when I was pregnant.
Before I start can I please say that this is my personal experience. Everyone has different fitness levels and health issues, so please find what is right for your individual needs. An obstetrician, GP, personal trainer, midwife, dietician, and physiotherapist are just a few of the wonderful very experienced professionals out there that can get you onto the right track to a happy and healthy pregnancy.
So before I fell pregnant I have always enjoyed keeping fit. I would regularly attend boot camp (2-3 times a week) and walk (2-3 times a week/ approx 4km walks).
Falling pregnant was a bit of a surprise, so I wasn’t doing any special fitness regime to try and fall pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, I was a bit apprehensive about what exercises to do and how hard to push myself. My obstetrician encouraged me to keep up all exercise while pregnant but with two strict rules- Don’t introduce any new exercises/training while pregnant, and when exercising I should push myself, but not to the point of being out of breath. He said with all physical activity I should still be able to maintain a conversation while doing it.
I kept going to boot camp up until 38 weeks, and walking till 39 weeks. I listened to my body throughout the pregnancy, and just went with the flow. Somedays you are feeling full of energy and light as a feather, and other days you have cramps, sore, tired and need to rest. Pretty much how I am when I’m not pregnant. When I reached second trimester I only did the plank for core exercises, but otherwise I did everything else (but you do get slower and slower at doing them over the months).
I really was keen on keeping up my exercise during pregnancy and believed it was important in helping me with coping with the phyical demands of labour and birth. My thought is that labour and birth is like running a marathon to hell and back, so I want to be at my peak physical ability when that day comes. You need endurance and stamina for labour and birth, and I wanted to keep my body strong, flexible and healthy for that day. (Note: Although I did have an emergency caesarean I was in labour for 10 hrs with no epidural till that point, but we will save that story for another blog)
This last photo is of me at training today. I gained 22kgs when pregnant, and have lost 23kgs since having my son. So I am 1kg less than my pre baby weight. So with that said I would definitely encourage women to keep moving and fit while pregnant, and try to enjoy every minute of your pregnancy. It really is a miracle what the human body can do. I know for a fact that for me keeping up the exercise helped me cope with the massive physical demands of being pregnant, and return to my pre pregnancy weight.
There are many studies and research to prove without a doubt the health benefits to baby and mother when you exercise during pregnancy. I have added a few links below on some of the articles and websites I referred to for pregnancy health and fitness.