“You shouldn’t be lifting that..”
“You need to put your feet up and rest”
“Eat what you want, you’re eating for two!”
And if you have ever carried a baby around in utero for 9 months I am sure you can add to that list. Family, friends and even strangers are more than happy to share their opinions on what you need to be doing or not doing. Thankfully, and with a lot of help from social media, moms are starting to decide for themselves what they can and cannot do. And one thing they are deciding that they can do, is exercise!
I won’t go into all the details, it’s a small novel, but I have been blessed with 3 beautiful and slightly crazy babies. I was working full time with my first 2 pregnancies and did not exercise one single minute during them (or before them….oops). My first pregnancy was a hot mess, and I ended up delivering 10 weeks early to a barely 2 pound boy. Thankfully he was just little and needed to grow. However, after that due to complications during the pregnancy and my c-section I had now been moved into the high-risk category. Ta-da.
Pregnancy 2 went significantly better. I was feeling better and ate my happiness. 60 pounds later and 6 months after delivery I found myself in Stroller Strides. I was finally working out regularly, eating better, and the extra weight came off. It was awesome! I had never felt better, and then you know what happens...boom pregnant again, and I had just started the process to become an instructor. Now I’m definitely a ‘glass half full’ person, so I was repeating to myself, “this will be great, it’s all good, this will be my best pregnancy ever!” And you know what?! IT TOTALLY WAS!
I was teaching 2 Stroller Strides classes, 2 FIT4BABY classes, and attending about 2 Stroller Strides classes a week as a client. I had a great conversation with my doctor, who gave me the green light to continue working out. He said “you know your body, listen to it” and that’s all I needed. I’ve never been one to have morning sickness, but exhaustion gets me pretty good. I was tired, but not exhausted. I was sleeping really well and still felt really good. I had a great second and third trimester and my “running” became more of a fast mall walk. My weight gain was spot on and no extra, baby was active and healthy, my blood tests and stress tests were perfect, so I was rockin’ and rollin’. The biggest benefit I saw from staying so active was actually after delivery.
My scheduled c-section went great and 6 hours later I was walking around my room. I could not wait to become mobile again! My nurses said I was acting like I had my c-section last week and were very impressed. I was even able to get discharged a day and half early. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have any soreness or tenderness near the incision, but I was ready to move. 6 weeks later I was back at Stroller Strides and ready to slowly get back into it. I will not claim to come back after 6 weeks and pump out 20 burpees, but I was ready to see my friends and friends make great motivation.
I’ve now been teaching FIT4BABY for about 2.5 years and every mom has seen some benefit for staying active during pregnancy. Some saw the most benefit during pregnancy with the reduction of back pain, less or no swelling, help with nausea, and sleeping better. Some felt their labors were faster; that they had better endurance during labor and great recoveries. Of course none of this is a guarantee. Every woman is different as is every baby and their delivery. All the moms I have seen in Stroller Strides or FIT4BABY that have worked out through a pregnancy have seen some benefit, and the motivation to keep going gets hard, but like they say, you only regret the workout you DIDN’T do. Have you stayed active during a pregnancy? What was the biggest benefit you saw?