I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face since finding out that Snez and I would be welcoming our first child together later this year! And with so many new pregnant ladies joining my 28 by Sam Wood program I am constantly being asked how (and if) they can remain fit and healthy during their pregnancy. That's why I work closely with a pre- and post-natal specialist physiotherapist to make sure we can give the best advice possible. So here are my top five tips for mums (and Snez) during pregnancy . . .
Don't Stop Moving
Morning sickness, tiredness, extra weight to carry, a sore back . . . are just a few of the huge changes happening to your body during pregnancy that can, and probably will, mean you don't feel like bouncing up and doing that workout. I know it might seem tough, but try to keep moving. Getting your blood flowing will assist in helping with your energy levels and will work your muscles to help keep your back strong as that tummy gets bigger. Remember, the fitter and stronger you are, the easier being pregnant will be, the easier the birth is likely to be (even though I must say I don't know how you do it, lassies – wow!) and the faster you will recover from your pregnancy.
Don't Go Too Hard or Get Too Hot
You want to be moving but during this incredible period in your life don't be worrying about breaking any records or setting any new PBs. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise. If you become out of breath, then you're probably overdoing it. The health of you and your baby needs to be first and foremost at all times and that means avoiding getting your heart rate above 140-150 BPM for long periods, and always staying well-ventilated and hydrated.
Don't Neglect Nutrition
Ensure you are eating quality, real food to give yourself energy and begin that process early of getting the best nutrients to your little bub.
Pelvic Floor, Pelvic Floor, Pelvic Floor!
This is the exercise that you can do anywhere and at any time but make sure you do it. Squeeze your pelvic muscles and hold for five seconds, five times every day, and make sure you have worked with your doctor or physio to ensure you're strengthening your pelvic floor correctly.
Something that is often overlooked is how soon you should start working on your pelvic floor exercises after the birth. And the answer is the sooner the better. You may not have the same strength, endurance, or feeling, but try to get started on them the day after the birth and do them every day and you will be amazed at the different it makes.
Last but definitely not least . . .
Embrace the Change of Your Body in Your Mind
Your mental state, with so much going on and those hormones flowing, is really, really important. Embrace the beautiful, natural change that is happening to your body. You may have moments where you get frustrated with how much bigger you are, how much weight has been gained, how much harder it is to find clothes that fit or move around with ease, and who can blame you? But the important message is to never stop loving your body. Pregnancy is a testament to just how incredible your bodies are and you will bounce back to your old self faster and better than you know.
So, embrace and love yourself!