My name is Lisa and I have a beautiful 8 month old daughter named Dylan. I had a very healthy, ‘textbook’ (to quote my midwife) pregnancy and delivery. I believe my health and fitness routine played a huge role in my journey.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but when I finally saw those little blue lines on the pregnancy test, I was terrified. My body was about to go through some major changes and I didn’t know how to prepare. I want to share some of my successes & struggles of staying fit through pregnancy.
Don’t wait, start now!
The most important thing I did was get myself into fighting shape BEFORE I got pregnant. First, I went in to see my GP and had all the awkward and uncomfortable bits checked out. I didn’t want surprises popping up mid pregnancy. I was always a regular gym goer, but with the prospect of pregnancy looming I upped my game and sought out professional help to keep an eye on me, lowering the risk of injury, and really push me to reach my goals. I trained with Synergy Health & Performance because of the individualised attention their trainers offer in the group sessions. I went into pregnancy in the best shape of my life. You wouldn’t run a marathon without any training! Have a look around some of the smaller gyms and personal trainers in your area with pre & post natal training qualifications and see who might be a good fit.
Let’s be honest, while a lot of pregnancies are planned, some are a surprise! If you’ve been caught off guard, get into your GP ASAP for some starting guidelines. If you’ve never had much of a fitness routine, now isn’t the time to put your body through a major change. Take up some mild exercise like walking and seek out professional nutrition advice. Staying active, recovering properly and quality fuel will work wonders for you.
Steal Yourself for Judgement
The look of terror on my friends and families faces when they found out I wasn’t quitting the gym the day I found out I was pregnant was defeating. It made me doubt myself and feel like I was a terrible mom before I’d even got started.
Working out made the idea of child birth significantly less daunting for me. I can’t stress enough what a support my gym community and trainers were for me, making me feel strong, capable & safe. For the entirety of my pregnancy I could reach my feet to tie my shoes, I was significantly less tired than any of the other pregnant moms-to-be I knew, my blood pressure was always perfect, and when D-Day arrived, my husband told me I still looked like wonder woman. My labor lasted just 6 hours. I woke up at 3.30am in my bed, contractions 2 minutes apart, and I was holding my baby girl by 8:54am. I was always a woman who wanted whatever drugs they could offer me to get through the delivery, but on the day my midwife looked at me and said “I’m sorry, there isn’t time for an epidural; would you like gas and air?” I wept. I distinctly remember whispering to my husband “I hate her.” This fear seized me; I was going to have to get through this on my own strength and stamina. Through the intensity of labor, my body was strong and my mind was stronger. I could do this, this was what I’d trained for. And I did.
Start making healthy choices and habits now, because when the baby comes, you are going to be on auto pilot. Pregnant women know that the thirst and hunger are real. Cravings and aversions aside, make sure you’ve always got a bottle of water and healthy munchies with you to avoid binging on junk food. I don’t want to encourage an unhealthy body image, but to stress the importance of quality fuel. I tried really hard to keep to a good diet so my body had all the nutrients it needed to keep me energised and strong while it underwent a massive transformation. That being said, I had an unholy craving for strawberry pencils which could not be denied. A good gym or personal trainer can help you put in place and stick to these habits whilst adjusting your training and your pregnancy progresses. Stay active for as long as you possibly can.
Every pregnancy is different and you can never have full control over what complications and surprises could come your way; I was blessed that things went so smoothly. Proper diet and exercise are not going to prevent all the difficulties that could happen, but I believe they give you and your body the best chance to fight through anything that comes your way.
Glass Water Bottle
Switch to a glass water bottle which does not contain any harmful chemicals meaning your water stays pure & tastes better. Plus it is more eco-friendly!
Pregnancy Compression Socks
Wear compression stockings during pregnancy to prevent blood from pooling in the veins and reduce the increase of an elevated heart rate in both mother and child. Compression stockings may ralso reduce the risk of varicose veins and thrombosis.