Successes and Challenges with Heath and Fitness in Early Pregnancy

Marianna, fit mom and featured blogger, at 6 weeks pregnant.

Marianna, fit mom and featured blogger, at 6 weeks pregnant.

Read this great fit mom guest blog by Marianna, a mommy-to-be from Australia. She has a great perspective and I wish her well in her pregnancy!

Hi, I’m Marianna! I am a 31-year-old fitness/nutrition enthusiast and self-employed Massage Therapist living in beautiful Melbourne, Australia.

I started this blog to document my pregnancy and parenting journey, in order to inspire other woman who may be having similar feelings, questions, insecurities and wanting to shun conventional wives tales in favour of following their OWN instincts. Really, who knows you and your body better than YOU!!!

This blog post highlights my successes, challenges and experiences with my heath and fitness since learning 10 weeks ago about my first pregnancy.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was the most excited I have ever been, shaking all over, crying and I couldn’t sit down. After ringing my husband at work, ringing my mum at home and my sister while she was at work, I sat down to let it sink in. I had a little bubby in my belly, it may have been just a bunch of cells but it was a baby to me and like all new mums-to-be I scoured the internet for information about pregnancy. In particular, I was interested to know about any special dietary and exercise considerations. For the past 12 years, I have been doing some fairly intense physical training, I also did my Master Personal Training certificate as I was a keen learner on all things anatomical and physiological. Our bodies are the most advanced machines to ever have been built and I wanted to know everything I could on how and why. I have also been following the Paleo Diet to various degrees for almost 3 months before I found out I was pregnant and I must say I started looking fitter and leaner than ever. I am as fit, healthy and happy as one could ever ask to be, and I credit my current diet and exercise routine for helping me to have such a fantastic pregnancy so far — touch wood!!

Back to the internet, I was curious to see what the experts said I could and couldn’t do during my pregnancy — and I really didn’t like what I found as it made me very paranoid and feel quite insecure. Not only did I have my mum and husband badger me about still wanting to go to the gym, I had so many people treat me like cotton wool, like I would break. IM PREGNANT NOT DISADVANTAGED!!!

I must admit the day I found out I was pregnant I had just come home from a hard session of Les Mills, BodyPump- an hour weights class cocoordinated to music. Its intense and not as easy as some people think. Anyway the next day I had BodyStep- my favourite Les Mills class, but even though I was reassured by my instructor that I will be fine to still go as hard and as intense as I always do because I have been doing it for years, there was a little voice in my head that slowed me down and stopped me from going as hard and as intense. It was an automatic paranoia about this little bubba inside of me that I never had to worry about before and being my first, there is always going to be that feeling because, well. it is your first after all and god forbid I do anything to jeopardise it.

I have always looked at the gym as go hard or go home and I still have that mind-set 10 weeks into my pregnancy, however as much as I would love to go full ball at Body Step, I have actually stopped doing it, just until I reach 12 or 13 weeks. It is such a high intensity class using a step for the majority, that “falling” or “tripping” is always at the back of my mind. I think once ive reached my safety zone, I will go back and not use bricks under the step, just for a safety precaution. I have done a couple of BodyPump classes since and I must admit trying to keep my body temperature under 39 degrees celsius can be difficult but its all about listening to your body. If you’re panting and dizzy and breathless, stop!!! take a break, sit down, drink water. As with everything else in pregnancy, breathing right is also important in your workouts. Keep in mind that as you breathe, you are also taking in oxygen for your baby. The same oxygen that helps you with your workout, nourishes your little baby. As you exhale you are “detoxifying” your body by releasing carbon dioxide.

I don’t see any reason why a pregnant woman should use pregnancy as an excuse to STOP exercising. You are not doing yourself or your baby any justice at all. Actually you are doing both of you a HUGE injustice by adding unecessary weight to your body, which you will find harder to shift post pregnancy.

Just modify your workouts the bigger you get but I am a strong believer in keeping fit throughout your pregnancy. On most days I do a jog/walk combination on the treadmill. I vary between inclines and speeds which not only makes it more interesting but varies my heart rate. I also weight train on specific areas of the body on certain days of the week, this way, im not over using any muscles and give myself appropriate recovery.

The most important is rest. I know as I am self-employed it’s easy for me to say and do as I schedule my clients around my life which suits me and keeps me loving my job. I schedule my clients from 12pm-7pm as I definitely am a morning person and this is the best time for me to visit the gym or go outside for a lovely walk or jog. I need that time for me because as people keep telling me, take advantage of your time as it wont last long. How sad this makes me but I know it’s the truth. But I will take full advantage of this time to not only keep myself fit and healthy during this pregnancy but bond with my little bubba. What I feel, I hope it feels and that’s why I believe I’ve had such a great run so far. When I exercise the nausea disappears, i have energy most of the day and I feel on top of the world.

Sure I cant WAIT until the first trimester is over. Hopefully the hormones will calm down, i look like a teenager with my skin, and my boobies are killing me and i hear that settles down too. I have suffered from some bloating on random days but it only lasts that one day and disappears the next, so weird. I honestly cant wait to start showing and bonding more with bubs as I feel and see it grow bigger and look more like a human rather than a reptile haha. I love being pregnant and do not see it as a disadvantage or ugly or a strain or even a burden. I see it as one of the most beautiful miracles ever to happen to a woman. Shows how strong and beautiful we are. It shows just how amazing we are as human beings, to be able to create and grow and give birth to another human, I mean it’s just incredible that only WE can do it. I think it hits you even more so being pregnant how awesome we woman are!!! RESPECT TO ALL MUMS OUT THERE!!!

Big thanks for reading.

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4 thoughts on “Successes and Challenges with Heath and Fitness in Early Pregnancy

  1. Kayla Hoffman says:

    I am now 23 weeks pregnant and a HUGE lover of lifting heavy and intense cardio intervals. I have not stopped working out, but definitely not putting my body under so much repair daily. I still lift but use bands to decrease the chances of injury with pickup up weights. I do not do intervals anymore but still get my cardio in. Since being pregnant, I have started to focus on stretching and breathing during yoga; I feel like this will help me with delivery. (NO EPIDURAL HERE!) I am loving being pregnant and if every pregnancy was this easy, I would have 10 more kids. I TRULY feel that eating healthy and being fit pre-pregnancy has allowed me to have a smooth transition, no morning sickness, more comfort, etc and I am hoping for an easier labor and quicker recovery. CONGRATS! Enjoy every moment and don’t forget to do some video or journal for your lil peanut! (Your boobs will stop hurting so much, but be prepared to cry about EVERYTHING!) LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      Kayla , you sound like a natural at being pregnant and what an inspiration too. Everything you said I’m 100% with you. You made me laugh out loud when you said be prepared to cry about everything. It started last week. I was watching the new Snow White movie and was bawling like a baby. Who cries in Snow White!!!! I must agree, I have loved being pregnant. I’m 10.5 weeks now and it’s been fabulous, minus a few days here and there where getting out of bed has been a mission and nausea here and there but nothing like some poor woman who have nausea day in day out and can keep their heads out of the toilet. They must hate us haha. I hope for an “easy” labour too, even though I feel I’ve been lucky with this pregnancy I wonder if my luck will extend to that too haha but if I stay active, keep working and not stress about much, the baby will come out a piece of cake. Here’s to high hopes and positive thinking haha.
      Cheers for the comment Kayla x

  2. Sig says:

    Congrats! I’m also from Melbourne and about 31 weeks (eek getting closer!). I haven’t been as intensely active as I wanted to in this pregnancy but the biggest lesson for me has been actually listening to my body and giving it the rest and break it deserves. That being said swimming, walking and yoga have helped me from going insane! Now that I am at the waddling stage, I’ve toned it down even more and focusing on healthy eating and preparing for labour ahead.

    2nd trimester energy is awesome!! Good luck!

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