Meet Nichole, who’s just given birth to her second and was lifting serious weights throughout her 3rd trimester. While dealing with piriformis and hip pain throughout her pregnancy, she's trusted her intuition and stayed active and proactive with exercises to help the pain, while staying passionate about shifting the perspective on prenatal exercise.
What was the biggest myth told to you about pregnancy exercise, that you know (or now know) isn’t true?
There were two big ones; the first being that "pregnant women should never lift heavy weights" and that "pregnant women should not do yoga inversions.
At 33 weeks pregnant, I was back squatting 175lbs (see photo above). Not that every pregnant woman should do this but I am trained in heavy lifting and have been doing it for a long time, and keeping it in my prenatal training kept me strong. As far as inversions go, this was me doing handstands at 35 weeks.
What was your exercise routine before becoming pregnant?
I’m a pre & postnatal exercise specialist and yoga instructor, so I lead a very active lifestyle. My regular exercise routine includes a combination of yoga, weight lifting, HIIT, and running.
What does your exercise routine look like now?
I am currently 38+5 days pregnant (update – her baby girl has arrived!), and mainly doing yoga and body weight exercises focused on my hips, back and legs to prepare for labor, with some upper body weight lifting thrown in as well! Throughout the early stages of my pregnancy I continued with my yoga, weight lifting, HIIT, and running routine, and later in pregnancy, it was mostly yoga, bodyweight exercises and weight lifting. I believe I stopped HIIT and running around 24 weeks because my poor bladder couldn’t handle the pressure from the impact (haha).
What has been the biggest challenge in pursuing physical fitness and exercise during pregnancy?
With both my pregnancies I’ve had piriformis (a condition that includes spasms and pain in your glutes and can cause sciatica pain as well) and sacroiliac joint pain (which affects the hip, legs and lower back). So working through and managing that pain has probably been the biggest challenge.
How did you overcome this challenge to Shape Your Pregnancy?
I did a lot of corrective exercises, along with massage, foam rolling, and dry needling to help ease the muscle pain.
What message would you want to share with other expecting and new moms?
There is a lot of fear surrounding the prenatal and postpartum periods. Your body is a phenomenal vessel for life and humans were designed to move. Trust your intuition and move in a way that feels good to you. Gentle movement exercises such as yoga, tai chi, swimming, and walking are so much better than no movement at all. Empower yourself with knowledge and let’s shift the perspective together!
Do you use Baby2Body?
Yes, I do. I love this global movement, it is close to my heart and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to share my story. I am passionate about empowering women with knowledge about their bodies during this time, and I appreciate Baby2Body for everything they are doing.