Exercising for Two: Growing Tiny Humans

I know what you’re thinking…”Steph wrote a pregnancy post!” Nope! Not yet. I want to write something about this pregnancy in conjunction with health and fitness, but I haven’t settled upon a topic yet. If you have suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments for me! I would love to hear your thoughts or overal curiosities! 

So this post? This is written by one of our amazing ambassadors, Jessica. Jessica is a true #fitmom. We connected over our passion for strength training–and now–our passion for being strong moms. She didn’t know it when she first reached out to me about writing on the topic of pregnancy that I was even interested in having children. Now here I am in my second trimester doing my best to stay active and fight my sugar cravings. ;) 

Jessica’s story is great–she has two children and treated each pregnancy differently. She gave me some fantastic tips throughout my first trimester and really kept my head in the game when I needed it. But enough from me…read more from Jessica!

Guest post by Strongfigure Ambassador, Jessica Burgess

jbfitnurse I’ve been there.  You pee on a stick. It’s a ‘PLUS’.  Talk about a rush of emotions, and then it hits you. You realize that every ounce of food you eat and every activity you plan to do, there is a question of how will it affect baby to be? So let’s get down to the facts.

During my first pregnancy, I looked up every ounce of information and became terrified that I wasn’t doing enough to feed and nourish my little growing peanut. I was a runner, and was continuing to stay at the ‘same activity level’ per what I had read (http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pregnancy/), but once I hit 12 weeks I decided there were growing changes that I wasn’t sure about and stopped working out completely. From that point on I did what every first time mom does: we listen to the every day audience of others telling us it’s okay to ‘eat for two’ and indulge and ‘enjoy the pregnancy’. Well I did. I enjoyed all 40lbs that I gained–or at least I thought I was enjoying it–and that the swelling feet, sluggish day-long feelings, and the constant lack of breath was just part of the “experience.”

Well, hold on to your bulging bellies ladies – I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way at all! For my second pregnancy, I have a completely different story.

Baby #2

I was active/running, but keep in mind I had a six-month-old baby who I was handling at home and learning to juggle the balance of life as a new mom. Second stick bought. Peed. ‘PLUS’ and Bam! Just like that, I was now a mom of two under two. I was bound and determined to make this second pregnancy easier on myself. My first appointment with the OB was a little scary–only because I had some breakthrough bleeding, so she suggested I stop all exercise until I hit the 12 week mark. This was going against my entire plan, but my husband was my greatest coach. “Hang in there, listen to the doctor, and at 12 weeks you can start back in slowly. I’ll do it with you,” he reassured me. Meanwhile he was going to crossfit classes and as I felt as if I was swelling and rounding out, he was trimming the fat off and chiseling away at his figure. Deep breath, I told myself. Focus on what is important.

Healthy mom, Healthy Baby.

Week 12 came. Everything checked out, and I got the green light to workout again. I went over the details of my first pregnancy with my OB (I had a different one the second time around) and discussed my plans for exercise. She was fully supportive and said to just make sure I checked with her on anything I was nervous about and most importantly to listen to my body. So at 12 weeks I started with 10 minutes of yoga every morning to slowly wake myself and baby Ryleigh up.  Three to four times per week I would perform exercises such as banded pull ups, goblet squats, box step ups, and kneeling push-ups. You name it, I tried to find a scaled prego version of it.

First pregnancy on the left, second on the right.
First pregnancy on the left, second on the right.

Boy was I the talk of the neighborhood.

Are you sure you should be working out like that?
Are you sure that isn’t hurting your baby?

All I have to say ladies is listen to your body, keep your OB informed, keep your head down and your eyes forward and focus on the good job you are doing keeping your body in tip top shape to carry this little one right to the end. The difference on how I felt between pregnancy one and two was night and day. Don’t get me wrong, you will always have your good days and your bad days, but for the most part, during my second pregnancy I was so much more energized, I slept better, and I overall felt like I was still me, just carrying an extra 21lbs. I gave birth to a baby girl, the day of my due date, and it just so happens that the day prior to I attended a ‘chair yoga’ class and was helping move couches in our home to vacuum….nesting. I’ll never forget my husband saying, “Wouldn’t it be something if this threw you into labor!” And up I was at 2am in full swing. Four hours later I had my little bundle of joy.  Yup, FOUR hours start to finish.  A far cry from my 47 hours of labor with my first child!

You can do this!jbfitnurse4

So as you feel your body grow and take the awkward “I don’t look pregnant–I just look like I ate one too many tacos” shape, remember to start at the beginning and start slow.  Add things on as you feel up to it.  I was running 1.5 miles once a week all the way up until I was 38 weeks pregnant with my second child. And when I say run.. I mean.. I was jogging and then fast walking.. jogging.. fast walking… but the main focus I was trying to keep in mind was that I wanted my blood pumping.  Get as much of that blood and nutrients to my baby and there is no better way to circulate that blood than to get off your booty and do something.

I promise the benefits are endless and you will thank yourself when you see the ‘snap back’ of your post baby body!

Key Points:
1.  Keep Moving.
2.  Make yourself accountable by telling your doctor and your family of your pregnancy exercise plan.
3.  Small exercise bursts add up to a lot because you are carrying extra weight (it’s like walking around wearing a 20lb weight vest!)
4.  Listen to your body… stop if you need to stop.
5.  Moving is good.. it helps your baby and your body so don’t sell yourself short of being the best pregnant exercising mama out there!
Some great pregnancy workout resources:

Do you have a question for Jessica? A comment about your pregnancy? A pregnancy topic for Steph to write about? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!