+1Fitness: An Introduction To My Own Pregnancy
Through my job I get to work with SO many beautiful women on a daily basis and as childbearing is such a magical & natural part of a woman's life I am blessed to have had the opportunity to personal train & teach yoga to ladies trying to get pregnant, ladies on the run up to IVF treatments, ladies that are pregnant and ladies looking to get back into fitness after having their babies. I am also qualified in Pre & Post Natal Exercise, BioSignature Modulation, Precision Nutrition and Yoga Teaching.
Now that I have shared my own baby news with Social Media I am so excited to start posting about not only about my own experiences with pregnancy but about all things pregnancy in general!
Over the next few weeks/months I will use this blog (+1Fitness) to post about training, nutrition, and general topics related to pregnancy (pre, during & post pregnancy) that you guys want to talk about such as; hormonal imbalances, foods to help boost fertility, what exercises are safe to do during pregnancy, weight management throughout pregnancy, how to ease back into fitness after birth and so on..!
*DISCLAIMER - Everyone experiences pregnancy differently and each pregnancy is different to the last, so not everything I blog about will apply to your situation, and I can only share my personal experience and/or research I have studied.
This blog is designed to HELP women that are seeking help when it comes to staying fit pre/during/post pregnancy!
It is NOT designed to make anyone feel guilty about not wanting to keep fit during pregnancy and I have absolutely no judgment toward anyone who decides to do things differently - Once mummy's focus is on what makes her happy - then baby will be happy - and thats what matters most.
So this first blog post is just an introduction to my own situation and where I'm at now!
Please feel free to send me any questions /topics you are interested in so I can answer them over the next few blog posts! 😊
Where my journey began with all things health & reproduction...
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21 (5 years ago) with a diagnosis of over 20 cysts on each ovary, a lack menstruation and told that my chances of getting pregnant naturally were very slim. I didn't ovulate for over a year and began to really worry about my reproductive future.
After a few months of being in a really dark place mentally, feeling defeated & angry at something that just didn't seem fair and experiencing all of the usual symptoms associated with PCOS - weight gain, inflammation, hormonal rollercoasters, insulin resistance and so on, I decided that I had two options: Let PCOS control me - or take control of my PCOS.
That's when my true health & fitness journey began. I decided that I needed take my health into my hands and tackle this head on. I was determined to reverse my PCOS and not become just one of the statistics.
"It is estimated that polycystic ovarian syndrome affects about 8-20% (1 in 10) of women of reproductive age. It is extremely common. The infertility rate with polycystic ovaries is very high. These women usually will have difficulty getting pregnant - and usually require treatment to improve chances for pregnancy.
Some women with polycystic ovary syndrome will ovulate (release a mature egg) occasionally - others do not ever ovulate.
Women with PCOS are known to be at increased risks for certain other medical problems such as:
Diabetes - women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have a 40 to 50% risk of having diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance by age 40.
Endometrial cancer - Increased risk due to the irregular and inconsistent shedding of the endometrial lining (irregular periods)
Lipid Abnormalities - Women with PCOS seem more likely to have an unfavorable blood lipid profile which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
Fortunately I was able to discover my PCOS early - too many women don't discover it until they are already trying years for children! (Always be curious ladies! Its so important to know whats going on in our bodies - we only have one)
I began to train properly, study nutrition and really look after my mind through yoga and meditation. And while I am no doctor, as far as I'm concerned I have reversed my PCOS (while I still have cysts on my ovaries - I have cleared all symptoms, got my periods back & got pregnant naturally! )😊
So I am now 19 weeks pregnant! And having the most amazing experience in the world. I am enjoying second of it so far! OK maybe not every second - nausea isn't THAT fun - but in general I'm one happy camper!
Questions I keep getting asked:
How far along are you? - 19 weeks
When are you due? - Christmas Day!!!! - hoping for him/her to pop out a week early!! haha
Do you have a bump? - Yes a little one (eek so exciting) it just came out of nowhere over the last week or so, before that it just looked liked I'd eaten a big meal!
Are you finding out what your having? - Nope! I really wanted to at the start because I was convinced it was a boy and now I really don't think its one more than the other, or care what it is! The more time that goes by the less I want to know!! (In saying that - 20 week scan coming up, well see if curiosity gets the better of us - but for now no!!)
Did you get morning sickness? - I felt nauseous most days but in waves - I would go from being hungry to feeling nauseous and back again. But nothing bad at all to the extent I couldn't work or do my usual day to day activities. I got used to it too - so I stopped noticing it as much after the first few weeks! But no actual barfing - thank GOD!
Have you got any weird cravings/food aversions? - I actually haven't gotten any unusual cravings! (nothing I didn't already crave) and the only aversion I got was to water. Plain drinking water
makes me feel super nauseous - so it needs to either be iced cold or flavoured with sugar-free dilute! These bad boys have saved my life!
Highlight so far - feeling the baby kicking for the first time last week!! And non-stop ever since - what a feeling!! Absolutely magical.
My Training & Nutrition
For the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy I didn't really train that much - just a little here and there. Not because I think you should stop training for the first trimester - I think you should definitely keep training - but because I work a very physically demanding job lifting weights, demonstrating exercises all day long and teaching 4 yoga classes a week! Turns out making a human is pretty damn tiring at the start so I decided not to do much more than I was already doing in work - it was enough for me at the time!
I think if you are comfortable with exercise pre-pregnancy then continuing to exercise in some form is SO beneficial! Being active has drastically helped boost my energy levels, my mood and I think is the reason I thoroughly enjoyed my first trimester! It was the days I rested a lot I felt the worst! But that is just me, I've always been very active so it suited my lifestyle! That said, rest is also so so so important throughout the first trimester! So if you are planning on keeping active - find the balance, listen to your body and take naps when you can! (Lots of naps 😋)
Now that I am in my second trimester and energy levels are beginning to creep back I am back to training 3 times per week!
I am doing all the same exercises I was doing before pregnancy (pretty much everything) and just paying the most attention to listening to my body as I train. I am not pushing myself further than I feel comfortable with on any exercise, but still pushing myself as much as I usually would - I enjoy pushing myself.
I am no longer trying to progress much further in terms of adding weights / volume etc. I'm also no longer training to burn calories or keep any sort of physique anymore. I'm now just training to keep muscle mass, keep my body strong and active through my pregnancy, and to release all them happy hormones!
Pre-pregnancy I would have done my training alone while I wasn't coaching clients myself but now that we have our new trainer Robbie Bourke on board (legend!) I now have the freedom to hop into our small-group model and train with the members which I absolutely LOVE - I don't think I would be able to go back to doing it alone again - I get why they all love it so much now - it makes the world of difference having the motivation, support and fun of the small group atmosphere :D
So what has my nutrition looked like since getting pregnant?
You wouldn't even want to know. 😋😂
For the first trimester I did not feel like healthy food whatsoever. Having been a very healthy eater for last few years I was surprised at how little I wanted it! Salt & Vinegar flavoured anything & jambons from the deli across the road seemed much more appealing to me 😊😂
I made an effort to get healthy foods in whenever I could to give my body the nutrients it needed but in general I just went with the flow, and had whatever I felt like at the time! I got chicken fillet rolls, pizzas and lots of other nice foods when I really felt like it. I didn't worry much about it at all! And I think the lack of pressure I put on myself allowed me not to go overboard or binge. I ate good here and there, bad here and there and felt completely ok about it! 😊
Honestly, it's was nice having an excuse to have the bold foods that I loved that pre-pregnancy I would have allowed myself to feel guilty about.
Now that I am in my second trimester I find I am becoming a lot healthier. A combination of being back into my training which makes me crave more nutritious food, having more energy & less cravings and knowing it's natural 'weight gain time' allows me to feel good about pulling back on all the processed foods!
But in general I've just taken the approach of going with the flow with both food & training and doing what I feel like on that day or in that moment, because pregnancy is unpredictable, you don't know when a craving will hit or when your body will decide it needs a nap! So my best bit of advice would be not to plan too much, do what feels right for your body, don't put pressure on yourself to do anything you don't want to do! However, do try to plan some exercise each week - even if it's minimal. It will make you feel much better in the long run!
So that is just a quick introduction to MY situation! Again everyone is different and every pregnancy is different - what works for one person might not for another so I can only share my experience and speak on behalf of myself!
In our next +1Fitness blog post we are going to delve into the area of fertility - training & nutrition tips to help boost fertility and get that body in a better position for getting pregnant!
If you have any questions about training and/or nutrition before/during/post pregnancy, or want me to cover any topics in particular just email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them in my next blog post!
Thanks for reading! 😊
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