An insight into pregnancy, pre and post natal exercise and how to do it safely (a view from one of our clients)
Looking back to the start of 2021, life was pretty simple. Working from home, hiding from COVID, gym sessions twice a week. My partner and I had already delayed planning our wedding (spoiler - still not planned yet!) because of the pandemic, but we were very aware of the fact that, well, time is sometimes not an ally when it comes to starting a family.
Fast forward to May, and I found myself faced with the odd situation where I was telling Max about my pregnancy, even before I'd told my parents. I didn't want to stop exercising, but I wanted to make sure from the get-go that I was doing so safely, both for myself and for my tiny on-board training buddy.
Pregnancy can do all kinds of odd things to your body. You produce hormones that make your ligaments relax, you have to be careful lying on your back for prolonged periods, your centre of balance changes as your bump grows, you get tired more easily and need to be extra aware of good hydration, nutrition and taking care not to overheat. Max, Mark and James were amazing at modifying exercises (and being super discrete about why in the very early days) to ensure I was safe, and were always checking in that I was comfortable with what we were doing. One of the best things about doing SGPT was I already understood my body and how it worked best, and all the advice from my midwife was to keep listening to my body and do what worked for me.
I carried on training until early January. My son was born 2 weeks overdue and via C-section at the end of January. It was not the birth I had planned for, but it was the best option for a healthy baby and healthy me. Squats, literally, saved my sanity as I was able to pick up my baby while I was recovering from, let's be honest here, some pretty major surgery. I was happily out gently walking within a few weeks and, as exercise had meant I had not gained a lot of weight, just a whole lot of 'Bump', I had to give up my oh so comfy maternity trousers pretty quickly too, as they were falling off!
The first few months of new parenthood were hard. I ended up speaking to my GP about feeling lonely and overwhelmed by it all. His advice was to carve out some time for myself. With a bit of careful planning, I turned back to something I knew brought me joy - my training with MHR. Again, the team have been incredible at supporting my training, knowing that I'm going to be a little cautious with my new level of fitness and the changes to my body post-pregnancy. My little boy is now 6 months old and thriving - I'm always checking what weights I'm lifting against his weight to ensure I can keep picking him up easily for many years to come! So far, so good.
So, if pregnancy is something on your radar, just remember, growing a tiny human and then giving birth to them is akin to running a marathon. Nothing bad about making sure you're in the best shape of your life for that race.... You can do it safely with the right help and support from your midwife and your trainer, and by listening to your body. You never know! Your baby might get the exercise bug early!