Jess, a keen gym goer, talks about how she adapted her exercise routine so she could keep fit during her pregnancy.
Jess (32), Auckland, 18 weeks pregnant
Before I found out I was pregnant, I had just got back into a great routine at my new gym. I was building up my cardio levels and had a new, challenging weights programme. I was feeling great, and pushing myself quite hard during my workouts.
Then it all changed. I got the BFP (pregnancy talk: Big Fat Positive). Could I go to the gym? What could I do there? Would squats and sweaty runs harm the baby? Had I already hurt the baby as I had been working out hard without knowing I was pregnant? I had so many questions.
My midwife advised me that it was perfectly okay to continue at the gym, doing what I had been but to listen to my body. If I felt tired, sore or out of breath, I was to stop. And I was told to keep up with drinking A LOT of water as I didn’t want to overheat. I gave this a go for a couple of weeks, but things had changed. I did get out of breath, I would get dizzier and running with my newly acquired DD bra cup was not comfortable!
So I’ve adapted my exercise to suit my situation. I started yoga which has been great as it helps my stress levels and also is meant to be good prep for the birth (breathing, stretching etc). I have also reverted to walking around my neighbourhood and getting out into the bush for walks. This allows me to set the pace better and ‘hear’ my body more than when I was at the gym. I also feel okay when I only get a 30 minute walk.
I feel healthy and my stress is being managed. I believe my midwife was right in saying to just listen to my body and do what feels right."
Jess’s top tips
- Listen to your midwife.
- Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to do the same type of exercise as before you were pregnant.
- Reconsider what your body needs from exercise while you are pregnant (birth prep, stress and weight management) and try different things that feel okay.
- Get a good sports bra!