By Alicia Woods
So, you’ve just found out you’re pregnant. Exciting, right?! But also terrifying, not to mention, totally life changing.. There’s 1 million tabs open in your head - am I ready for this? How will my life change? What about my body? Can I still do that? What about my fitness goals? - These are just a few questions you might be asking yourself if, like myself, training is a huge part of your life, and you no longer know where you stand with it. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone! Maybe you’re reading this, looking for inspiration or guidance for your own pregnancy. Well, I hope I can provide that, by sharing my fit pregnancy journey with you. But first, CONGRATULATIONS.
Since documenting my fitness journey into pregnancy on Instagram, many women have DMed me, confided in me and seeking guidance in the early days of their own pregnancies. Being told by a complete stranger, that you have inspired them, is an incredibly empowering thing, so I hope to inspire more women, as they enter this new and exciting chapter. So finally, at 39+5weeks pregnant, I’m going to share my personal experiences of training during pregnancy, and how I was mostly able to maintain the active lifestyle I’d grown to love! Before I begin, I’d like to make it clear that I am not telling anyone what they should or should not do during pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different; what works for one woman, may not work for another. Some are able to continue training, where as others simply are not! Your midwife/consultant is the professional, and what they say, goes!
First Trimester Training
In the early days, in terms of training, I lacked confidence, entering unfamiliar territory, and not knowing what the boundaries were. Fatigue and sickness made curling up on the sofa, seem far more appealing than going to the gym after a long day in work. I would settle for 30 minutes of incline walk, or 30-45 minutes of mixed weight sessions, as I became nervous of the weights, worrying they’d cause harm. So, I started to research weight training in pregnancy, reading articles written by fitness fanatics, and following high profile pregnant fit women, to see what was working for them (@carlynewson, @reviejane @anniepfit). It inspired me, showing me that I could continue to lift, with an understanding of what I’d need to change, in order to feed my passion for lifting, whilst keeping our baby safe.
The first 12-14 weeks, are really fragile, so don’t push yourself. Personal bests and getting lean can wait. Our bodies are doing an incredible thing, and need to be respected. Believe me, this first trimester is by FAR the hardest! Don’t put any unrealistic expectations on yourself during this period. The second trimester, AKA ‘the happy trimester’, often brings a new found lease of life, and it really does get easier from here! Finally, LISTEN to YOUR body, set YOUR OWN boundaries, and most importantly, do NOT put any unnecessary pressure on yourself!
Stay tuned for my next installment of ‘Bump, Barbells & Biceps’ where I will talk you through the developments I was able to make to my training, in the 2nd trimester, as well as the changes to my nutrition.