Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise

A reader asked about exercising while pregnant and postpartum.  I am going to tell you what I did with each pregnancy.

  Before I do that, I do want to remind you all to check with your doctor or midwife before doing any of this.

When I got pregnant with Kamron I had just finished up starving myself for my wedding.  I thought that being pregnant and starting a new job were both excuses for eating any and everything I wanted.  I also stood all day at work so that was my "exercise".  Shockingly, to me only, I gained a LOT of weight.  
After, I had Kamron I joined Weight Watchers and started walking.  I was able to quickly lose thirty pounds.

When I got pregnant with Ryan and Dylan I had just joined a gym and religiously went to Kickboxing classes three times a week.  I continued to Kickbox until I was five months pregnant and my doctor told me to stop.  As soon as I was back to feeling able and strong enough I started walking with the twins.  I would load the twins into the double stroller and Kamron would run ahead while I would walk.

With Anna's pregnancy I bought a prenatal yoga dvd that I did.  Honestly though, I felt like a beached whale and didn't exercise all that much.  However, as soon as I could I was up and walking and added some light weights and resistance bands.  When she was five months old I started Brazil Butt Lift which you can get here and added in running to my workouts.

That is what I did with my three pregnancies.


Before I found out I was pregnant with Junior, I had been working out and was in the best shape I had been in since I had graduated from college.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I listened to my dr and stopped running and lifting weights (she was a bit old school about exercise and pregnancy).  I continued to walk and some light yoga.  I gained 40+ plus pounds with him.

After he was born, I started with walking and slowly started adding running back in.  I also returned to lifting weights.

And then, just after Junior's first birthday, I found out I was pregnant with Girly.  I continued to run, but after about 10 weeks, went back to walking.  I also continued to lift weights.  This made the biggest difference in how I felt.  I ended up gaining only about 30 pounds with Girly.  But the biggest difference was in how I felt going into labor/ delivery and then the recovery after.

I didn't have a lot of time to really get back into shape after Girly was born- I found out I was expecting Squish when she was 10 months old.  But, since I had been running and lifting again, I continued.  I ran (okay, wogged) through 22 weeks before my hips couldn't take it.  So I switched to walking.  My total weight gain with Squish was 25- 30lbs.  And again, the difference in deliveries was amazing.

I had my first 3 in about 3 yrs (3 yrs and 2 months between Junior and Squish) and I was ready to get back into shape.  I needed to feel like my body was my own again =)  Between walking, running and lifting I was able to get back into shape.

A couple years later, we decided one more would be good.  Before I got pregnant with Sweet Pea, I was doing P90X and running.  Once again, I continued to run (through 32 weeks this time!), lift weights and added yoga in.  I gained right around 25lbs with her.

After she was born, I eased back into walking and running.  It was such an emotional time that I wasn't ready to really *get back to it.*  It wasn't until she was a year old that I really got serious about it again.  My running picked up, I added P90X back in and when I finished that, I started Combat- and am loving how strong I feel!


So there you have it.  Exercise during and after pregnancy from two different perspectives.  As with anything, you need to find what works for you.  Most people will tell you that if you were working out before, you can continue to work out with modifications once you are pregnant. And, I cannot stress this enough:

Make sure you have talked with your doctor or midwife about exercising during pregnancy.  

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