Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Exercising When Pregnant
By Lori Cohen
“Knowing I was strong helped me beat the fear of birth”
I trained competitively as a CrossFit athlete before falling pregnant. When I discovered I was pregnant, the first thing I did was change my goals — instead of aiming to get stronger and fitter, I worked towards maintaining my fitness and strength, and my training started to reflect those goals.
Tash King, 30, mom to Maximus, 11 weeks old
During the first trimester the only changes I made were that I took the intensity down of all my workouts. I used the “talk test” as my guide — if I could hold a conversation I was good. I also made sure I did not lift for “max” effort in my weightlifting. I stuck to lower weights and higher rep schemes.
During the second trimester I stopped Olympic Weightlifting with a barbell as my belly started to get in the way. I also stopped running and jumping. Your pelvic floor takes a lot of strain when pregnant! I also stopped all “traditional” ab exercises such as sit-ups and leg raises.
READ MORE: What Really Happens At CrossFit
In the third trimester I took my training days down. I was very fortunate to have the energy to train CrossFit five times a week, but once I hit about 30 weeks I took my CrossFit down and added more walking and yoga to my routine. Throughout all three trimesters the weights I used for any of my training also went down depending on how my body felt, until I eventually did my last workout (the day before I had Max) with just body weight exercises.
Women are made to give birth, but somehow we have become so afraid of it. By keeping strong and fit I felt I had an edge over this “fear” knowing that I was 100% physically capable of handling labour. I kept training because I knew that I needed the strength and stamina to give birth, both physically and mentally. I also knew that it would help my recovery time. And I love exercising so it was to keep me happy and sane!
I really believe that moving in some form everyday aided my energy levels. By keeping strong I was spared of most pregnancy aches and pains I had no backache or swollen feet for example. It was also so great for me to mentally zone out for an hour — put on some music and do what I love. My plan was to have a natural birth with no pain medication, which we succeeded in doing. I had Max with the assistance of a midwife and my partner Chris. I was in active labour for 2.5 hours — it was quick, magical but intense and everything I hoped for. I gave birth to Max on that Thursday at 12pm and walked out the hospital with him at 9am on Friday morning.
If you want to know more about how to keep healthy while pregnant. Read more on 5 Easy Exercises For A Healthy Pregnancy and have yourself a healthy, happy pregnancy.