Hello Ballet Beauties!
You might already know the beautiful Sarah Sophie from our blog. She’s a dear friend of mine and I also like to refer to her as my “Pregnancy Boss.” Read below to find out why! And look out for the lovely Miss Flicker in our upcoming prenatal streaming workout videos, (surprise!) coming to the website soon!!
As of today, I’m 34 weeks into my third pregnancy and about to be the mama to THREE kids!!! I’ve been incredibly lucky in my pregnancies. All in all they’ve been without incident, happy, healthy and truly enjoyable. Not always, but a lot of the time. I certainly don’t consider myself an expert, but three kids in; I’ve come to a few conclusions that I’d love to share with you.
The biggie that I’m going to talk about today is exercise during pregnancy. Especially in the fairly brutal first trimester, exercise may not be on the top of your to do list. You feel tired, nauseous, bloated, all-in-all pretty gross. But if I had to attribute one thing to my healthy pregnancies, joyful births (yes, joyful! I’ll get into that in another post), and rapid recoveries, I’d honestly attribute it all to exercise and healthy eating.
I’ve come to see birth as a marathon. Those of you who have experienced it know that it is beyond physically challenging, can last hours, and takes every last bit of strength you can muster. So, if birth is a marathon, shouldn’t pregnancy be a time to train for that marathon? I think so! Looking at it this way has allowed me to take an empowered approach to both the 9-month pregnancy and my births. It’s also given me the illusion of, at least a little, control. So often, pregnant women can be seen as ill or somehow less than able. I really love the mama-lioness, strong, and heroic feeling of the whole process. It’s sad to me that something so badass as giving life has gotten such a bad rap.
I have trained with Mary Helen for my last two pregnancies and have found that Ballet Beautiful is the greatest form of exercise during pregnancy. Of course, there are modifications that one has to make here and there, but if you listen to your body it will quickly tell you what feels right and what doesn’t. Pregnancy is a perfect time to nurture a deeper relationship with your body and to follow the cues it gives you. Research shows again and again that there are nothing but huge benefits to exercising during pregnancy. In my personal experience the results were undeniable!
Honestly, I’ve found that on the days I feel super sick, if I force myself to move my body, even a little, I feel a lot better. Also, if you have older nudniks running around, work, or are just human, finding the time can be tough. I have, however, found that even 15-20 minutes a day makes a monumental difference. One second my back hurts, then I exercise, and, what do you know, but my back pain is gone.
Another MAJOR benefit, that studies support, is that keeping strong, fit and healthy aids in an easier birth. Like I said, birth is similar to running a marathon, in both of my previous births (and hopefully in the next one), I was so grateful that I felt strong and ready to take on the challenge. My advice to my girlfriends is always to do what your doctor says, and let go of any pre-conceived idea of how it’s all going to go down. That said, why not prepare your mind and body to be as capable as possible to handle the many curve balls that giving birth can throw?
In a nutshell, I just want to cheerlead all you ladies out there who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, to be empowered in your pregnancy, be at your optimum strength and health, for yourself and for your baby. There is nothing more wonderful than the crazy HUGE love you feel upon holding your sweet baby for the first time. Second to that is the great pride in having created a life! Now, that is a real superpower!
Here is a good article from the fine folks at Mayo Clinic:
And of course, please discuss all your exercise and dietary plans with your doctor before jumping in!
Shine on women! All My Love,