Meet Lisa, who is preparing for a healthier, stronger postnatal journey with her third baby by maintaining a fit pregnancy this time around. She's making it all happen through adapted strength training, increased knowledge of her pelvic floor, enjoying the journey, and kicking her feet up - but only when she needs to.
What was the biggest myth told to you about pregnancy exercise, that you know (or now know) isn’t true?
My mom actually told me that I shouldn't work out too hard because I would "juggle" the baby's head. I think the older generation is used to the whole "pregnant with your feet up" idea, but that's just not reality anymore (especially when you have 2 other kids running around)!
What was your exercise routine before becoming pregnant?
Strength training 4x per week, focusing on certain muscle groups for each workout, and boxing once per week.
What does your exercise routine look like now?
I'm still strength training 4x per week and boxing once a week! I have definitely modified my workouts in certain ways, for example, I've shortened them to about 30-40 minutes, and I do more supersets to incorporate more muscle groups into each workout. I've put a pause on all abdominal exercises and focus on my deep core breathing to engage and strengthen my pelvic floor, and I don't do any exercises that could be dangerous, for example, box jumps and burpees. Though if you can believe it, I miss those heart-thumping exercises so much!
What has been the biggest challenge in pursuing physical fitness and exercise during pregnancy?
It's been a different challenge in every trimester. For the first 12 weeks, my nausea and exhaustion made it tough to work out for longer than 20 minutes. It took all of my willpower to get my butt in the gym. My second trimester was awesome and my workouts were back to normal, but I had to get creative with safe exercises that still challenged me physically. I'm now in my third trimester (29 weeks) and my belly is actually in my way! It's tough to bend over to tie my shoes, and It's affecting my range of motion in certain exercises. Not to mention, it's getting tougher to find a sports bra or tank top that fits!
How did you overcome this challenge to Shape Your Pregnancy?
I've had two previous c-sections and both times were a difficult recovery due (in part) to the lack of strength in my body to carry myself and heal. This is my first "fit" pregnancy and I was determined from the start to maintain the strength I've built, and utilize the knowledge of pelvic floor and abdominal strengthening that I didn't have before.
What message would you want to share with other expecting and new moms?
Every pregnancy is different. Resist the urge to compare your pregnancy with others, or even your own previous pregnancies, and focus on the beauty and strength in your body (admittedly, a daily struggle for me). Make workouts about celebrating what your body is capable of, rather than a punishment for the cake cravings you've given in to. It may not seem like it, but pregnancy will be something that you'll miss someday, so enjoy every little kick and flutter. Work hard in the gym and try to keep a healthy diet (but also, indulge girl!), but remember to take some time to put your feet up. As outdated as our mother's advice may be in terms of working out while pregnant, they're right about one thing, it feels pretty awesome to kick back and relax.
Do you use Baby2Body? Feel free to share any thoughts or experiences you’ve had with Baby2Body so far.
Yes! I love the countdown on the home screen and the notifications telling me how big the baby is! There is also a real lack of information out there on women's health, specifically pelvic floor health, and I love that Baby2Body includes information on this important topic.