Confessions of a Mumma who LOVED exercising while pregnant

Written by Eryn Ford, founder of Mummy Physiques

January 2013 my period was late….Oh oh. I wasn’t expecting that…. 3 months later I realised I was doing this alone – definitely never thought I’d be in that position. I could have fallen in a heap and cried my lonely self to sleep every night, I no longer had a partner I had no family close by but I did have this special little human growing inside of me. We were already close, I could already tell this little guy was something so special.

So I picked myself up and fell madly in love with the new man in my life – Gym. I guess this new love was my medicine. I’m not even sure where to start with just how much exercise helped me through my pregnancy mentally it saved me but there were so many more benefits. Physically I only put on 13kg which is within the healthy range, I didn’t get the extreme tiredness that all my other non-exercising friends seemed to be having; no swelling, no morning sickness, no back pain – I actually felt really good! I didn’t even take one sick day off work! What was going on here?!

I realised I was on to something – pregnant women really do need exercise! I didn’t want chocolate cake, I didn’t have any weird cravings I just LOVED this exercise thing and how it was making me feel. Then came the labour…

Now I’m not saying it was a walk through Westfield’s with a bag full of money to be spent. It was hard, however it was drug free and it was only 2 hours, so once again a little light bulb went off!! Wow! This exercise thing really helped me out. I was fitter, I was stronger and I was a mummy!!! Yay! I did it!

It was at that point I knew I wanted to help other mums realise just how much easier a little exercise can help both physically and emotionally in all aspects of life-not just their pregnancy.

Biggest benefits from exercise through pregnancy:

  • Helps to boost energy. Pregnancy can zap your energy, but regular bouts of exercise will help you get through your daily tasks or cope with a demanding schedule
  • Exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, so you don’t tire as easily. With muscles that are strong and toned, you need less effort to engage in any activity, whether that means hitting the shops or sitting through meeting at work.
  • Sleep like a baby: When you’re carrying an extra 13kgs (or more!) in front of you, finding a comfortable sleeping position can be a real challenge. Exercise will help you work off any excess energy and tire you enough to lull you into a more restful sleep. Happy days!
  • Pregnancy discomforts. Overall, regular exercise stretches and strengthens your muscles, which helps your body cope better with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Get moving mumma’s!
  • Helps prepare you for labour. It makes perfect sense. The better shape you’re in, the stronger you’ll be come labor and delivery time. Giving birth is akin to running a marathon, which requires stamina, determination and focus.

So what now!? Here I am sitting in my hospital bed at Westmead hospital staring down at this perfect little human wondering how I got so lucky. It was just me and him and we were ready to take on the world. Tyler was cheeky from the get go, he already had this look in his eyes. I was so in love.

Luckily for me Tyler was super chilled and after doing a ton of research I soon discovered that this too may have been helped by my active pregnancy. Studies have shown that mothers who exercised during pregnancy gave birth to leaner, calmer babies, who are more likely to stay leaner later in life. Children born to mothers who participated in prenatal exercise are much less likely to suffer from obesity, an emerging epidemic in Australia. Not only is my body thanking me for my active pregnancy, so is my baby…Winning!

After 10 days (and clearance from my GP) at home just Tyler and I, I realised it was time to get out. So off we went, I was ready to get back into it. I had decided I wanted to keep up this great thing that had got me through so much, plus being the best version of myself was exactly what my son needed considering it was just me and him.

Walking into that gym 10 days after delivering my son was an amazing feeling, I felt like super mum! I did a 1 hour session and Tyler was fussed over by the beautiful crèche girls and I swear I pushed that pram out of the gym like I thought I was Miranda Kerr.

I was feeling fabulous, my baby was calm and I was just starting the next chapter of my beautiful life.

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