I found out I was pregnant right around that 5-week mark, and along with feeling excited and happy and nervous, I had lots of questions about what to do next! One of my first goals was to keep exercising and stay fit, this was also repeated to me by Midwives and birth books: make sure to get exercise, especially cardio and walking. Just remember that you are more prone to falls in pregnancy because your center of gravity shifts, so stay with exercise that will not put you at risk. The first trimester was little more than mild nausea for me (and maybe a few extra emotions and stress) so even though the Pandemic had thrown a bit of a wrench in my workout routine, I was still able to do some online HIIT videos, long walks, even jump rope and kickboxing! Even so, I was already starting to notice getting tired more quickly and not being able to do what I used to, as my body was diverting some of that strength and energy into prepping for a baby! That feeling can be discouraging, which is where pregnancy-specific programs helped and generally just learning to be gentle and patient with myself.
Second trimester snuck up on me and I was hit with pregnancy rhinitis (bad allergies!) which left me tired and drained, plus I was starting to get bigger and on top of it all anxiety was mounting! I was still able to get in a good walk in the morning (encouraged by my big dog) but cardio and strength work was starting to become less frequent by the end of the second trimester. I had been following along with some yoga videos through YouTube and Facebook, but was having to modify lots of poses and feeling much weaker than I used to! So, I decided to sign up for a prenatal yoga class instead and invest a bit of money to also hold myself accountable to at least do the once a week class. I found @graceandgratitudelife on Instagram and it has been so worth it – Elizabeth’s class was such a blessing from day one! We start every Zoom session with a little check-in from our 6 mammas in the group and I immediately found so much comfort in relating to these other pregnant women all in different stages of pregnancy and life. We have so many different struggles and also so much of the same. We can all find a feeling of connection in going through pregnancy during a Pandemic and it’s so nice to have that small community.
Here are some of my favorite exercise resources:
- Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga with Elizabeth Clark graceandgratitudelife.com (next class series starts in January)
- Free Pregnancy and Postpartum TV on YouTube @pregnancyandpostpartumtv
- FitBit for step counts and tracking sleep fitbit.com
More recommendations & ideas:
- Prenatal Yoga and Pregnancy Circle with Francesca Saputo maternalroot.com
- Prenatal & Postpartum fitness with Fit4Mom
- Paid programs such as MUTU System for postpartum mutusystem.com
- Prenatal Pilates for strength and flexibility
- Swimming, which is gentle on joints (if you have access to a pool)
*Always consult with your midwife before starting a new workout routine or with any concerns about exercise during pregnancy