I want to share some real talk from a client of mine who recently had a beautiful little boy, Trey born August 21st (her 4th baby!). Congrats to you Cecile & your family! I had the opportunity of working with Cecile at the beginning of her 3rd trimester. Here is her “report” on exercising during her pregnancy.
Q: How did exercising during your pregnancy help?
A: The biggest benefit was that I became more in tune with my body and its changes. Even though I had 3 kids before, I never really focused on the little things that prevented me from having a comfortable pregnancy (as much as it could be!) The shallow breathing, the pelvic floor exercises beyond Kegels—those really benefited me , especially during the 3rd trimester.
Q: What motivated you to keep exercising?
A: Being able to do most of my pre-pregnancy exercises, with some modifications. My core strength did not diminish much, which gave me energy.
Q: If you were to become pregnancy again what (exercise-wise) would you do differently?
A: I would definitely begin a prenatal program earlier specifically geared towards moms-to-be. I had continued with regular reformer classes and such up to my 6th month and I don’t think it was as beneficial as when I took private sessions with Erica, who is an expert on prenatal exercise. Exercise in general is beneficial during pregnancy, but now that I’ve experienced targeted prenatal exercise individual tailored to that specific person (not a generic prenatal barre class with many other clients), I would definitely recommend this route!
Q: How do you feel your labor experience went?/ Do you feel exercise played a role in helping with the ease & speed of labor & delivery?
A: My labor (delivery stage) was less than 2 minutes—2 pushes and he was out. It was so natural; I knew exactly how to use my transverse muscles after so much emphasis on them with Erica throughout my pregnancy. To answer the next question, without a doubt, this was the easiest delivery stage of my 4 pregnancies. The OB says usually the labor stage gets easier with each successive pregnancy, but the delivery stage is all about strength and familiarity with your body.
Q: Any other advice you want to add for pregnant mammas?
A: Get or stay active! Get a stability ball and use it as a seat as much as possible—do your Kegels and other pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your transverse. Even when you’re exhausted from labor, by working these muscles in preparation for childbirth, your delivery stage will be much easier, taking into account an epidural.
So now you have it! Great input from another mom on her experience with exercise while she was pregnant & how strong her body was to help her get her baby out!