I am a Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and this is how pregnancy and fitness looked for me.
First Trimester: May, June, July
I really did not do a whole lot different with my fitness in the first trimester of pregnancy.
I taught about 6 classes a week ranging from bootcamps, strength training, and low impact functional fitness classes. I played on a rec soccer league two nights a week and took my 13 year old dog for leisurely walks around the neighborhood.
One thing I did take notice of was working out in the heat. If it was really hot outside, I would make sure I took more breaks and tried not to push myself to the limit as to not raise my internal body temperature too much.
I was also SUPER tired during the first trimester. And teaching classes was certainly no easy job. I took quite a few naps during this time. There were days I could hardly keep my eyes open and yes, I may have taken a quick nap in my car between classes a few times!
Second Trimester: August, September, October
I really did not start showing until the end of my second trimester so not many movements and exercises were compromised. I did stop playing soccer. Even though it is a rec league, these women are serious and I did not want to risk getting kicked in the belly!
Towards the end of my second trimester, I also gave up one of my classes: a Core-focused class. Some of the sit up movements felt a little uncomfortable and I had heard you should not spend too much time lying on your back while pregnant.
When I told my doctor I cut back on this class, he said it probably would have been fine to keep teaching it as long as I felt fine. Since I was active before pregnancy, he basically told me to just keep doing what I normally do for as long as I can/want.
Not that I am a huge runner, but I didn’t do ANY running during my pregnancy. I partially used being pregnant as an excuse to not have to run, but also towards the end of my second trimester and beginning of the third, my pelvic ligaments started to ache after doing certain movements like lunges, single leg exercises, jumps, or long walks.
Third Trimester: November, December, January, February
My pelvic ligaments aching were the main factor in cutting back on the amount of activity I did in my third trimester. I took a 3 mile walk one day and about an hour or so after I felt like I could hardly walk. I still taught classes in November and December, but did not do all the exercise and reduced my weight load as I got out of breath more easily.
Since I had no idea what to expect in my final few weeks/months of pregnancy, I got my classes and clients covered beginning in January. I did not want to risk the baby coming early and not having coverage.
However, little Johnny did not come early – he was two weeks late and had to be delivered via c-section because the induction could not even get him to come out!
So I ended up not teaching classes or really doing any kind of exercise for almost two months other than shorter walks with my dog because it was cold out! I figured it was the one time in my life I could be lazy and it was OK! 🙂
If I had known Johnny would be so late, I probably would have liked to still teach one or two classes in January. Five classes a week became a little taxing on my body… I gained 40 pounds, my feet and hands were getting swollen, and I was tired again, not to mention the pelvic ligaments aching if I did too much. But I certainly could have handled one or two low impact classes. Maybe next time…
During the final few weeks of my pregnancy, I did do a few exercises at home in hopes of getting labor rolling… dumbbell shoulder presses, bent over rows, bi curls, kettlebell swings… But nothing worked anyway.
I will say, it was pretty amazing how tired I got after one set of exercises! Gave me a new appreciation for what it was like to be able to move my body freely before I was pregnant!
My due date: February 9, 2016.
Johnny wasn’t actually born until February 22.
Like I mentioned above, I had to have a c-section. I was disappointed because everyone said, “oh you are in shape, you should have an easy delivery.” I won’t get into the whole birth story or anything, but I will say it was not easy or fun!
Little Johnny had no intentions of being born and none of the induction medications were working. His heart rate kept dropping and in the end they called for a c-section. It was for the best and he is a healthy little man.
My body did not handle all the drugs too well and I spent two days shaking like crazy and throwing up. I ended up needing a blood transfusion because I guess I lost a lot of blood during the surgery. The first time I stood up to walk I could hardly move and I threw up. It was weird.
Every day I got stronger though and my belly hurt less. Here we are a little over two weeks after baby and I can easily move around the house and go up and down stairs without pain. I even did a few squats and lunges while holding Johnny the other day. They got me a bit tired because my blood is still low I think, but it feels nice to move again!
I still have to be careful not to walk too fast, move too much, or lift heavy things or else I will feel it. And to be honest, I probably didn’t rest as much as I should have after the c-section – I was anxious to walk around and do things. Sitting still is so hard.
I am waiting patiently for my body to heal because I really cannot wait to be able to workout again! I actually want to go for a run and I miss what it feels like to work up a good sweat and to feel sore in the oh so good way!
While I have not done an actual workout in months and I probably won’t for another few weeks, I am not too worried about getting back “in shape” nor do I care about my super soft belly right now – I am just trying to listen to my body, be patient, and figure out/enjoy being a mom!
I recently listened to the Women’s Strength Summit session with Molly Galbraith and she said something that I thought was really great. She said she doesn’t care if you work out today or tomorrow, what she cares about is if you are working out 20 years from now.
It doesn't matter if u workout today or tomorrow, what matters is 20 yrs from now -Molly Galbraith #girlsgonestrong Click To Tweet
I love that.
When I stopped working out during my final couple months of pregnancy, for no other reason than I just didn’t really feel like it, I often compared myself to other fit pros who worked out right up until the week or day their baby was born. I kind of felt like a slacker when someone told me a story like this – like they were better at being fit and pregnant than I was.
But I truly feel I am just as healthy today as I would have been if I worked out for another few weeks while pregnant. I will resume workouts when my body is ready and I will continue to make fitness a part of my life for the rest of my life.
This post took three days to write – Blogging with a newborn ain’t easy!