When it comes to all the moms I cross paths with, as well as my clients who are looking to fall pregnant – either with their fist or subsequent pregnancies, I cannot stress this topic clearly enough!
I have simplified why to get into your best and healthiest shape pre-pregnancy down to these 5 reasons:
1. YOUR PRE BABY BODY DETERMINES YOUR POST BABY BODY
Wait what? Ok, let me explain, as I don’t think there is a mom in the world that doesn’t have a slight bit of concern as to how her body will recover after pregnancy.
- When you establish good health and fitness prior to pregnancy, you develop a healthy nutritional history and you bank some very important MUSCLE MEMORY!
- When you develop a history of fitness, your pain will be a lot more manageable as you get back into exercise and you will bounce back in no time. Actually not only will you bounce back – you will only add to the fitness platform that you created before you fell pregnant.
- Any sweat “equity” you invest builds a cardiovascular and strength blueprint that helps you make gains faster and enables you to be less prone to soreness and injury than someone who has never lifted anything heavier than a glass of merlot or has run only when chased. Therefore, the more exercise you do, the more memory you can bank and the easier it is to make deposits. It’s like a health savings account. Simple.
2. YOU INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF CONCEIVING
When you get into the best and healthiest shape prior to thinking about trying to conceive it allows your body the chance to actually prioritize conception. Our bodies are creatures of survival and if you are unwell or even just simply not in your best health – it becomes your body’s first priority to deal with whatever stress it is under: illness, fatigue due to incorrect nutrition, lack of sleep to name a few.
3. YOU CREATE THE HEALTHIEST HOME FOR YOUR BABY TO DEVELOP IN FOR THE FIRST 9 MONTHS
Your little one’s foundation of health starts within his or her very fist home – your womb. Creating a healthy home for your little one to grow in for the first 9 months of development is simply crucial. So even if getting into shape and health isn’t first your list of personal priorities, it should be number one on your priority list for your baby.
4. YOU ARE ABLE TO CONTINUE TRAINING THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE PREGNANCY
I see it often with clients that fall pregnant and have been relatively inactive in their lives. They suddenly get a bee in their bonnet to “hit the gym” now that they are expecting, as they are worried about gaining too much weight throughout their pregnancy. This is a very important point to come to terms with: you can only continue to train at the level you were training at PRIOR to falling pregnant. Therefore, if you were NOT training prior to pregnancy, you do the math. This doesn’t not mean that you can’t do low key exercise such as walking and supervised pilates, but you cannot suddenly start hitting the gym. If you have established a healthy exercise routine prior to pregnancy, providing you have no complications, you can train right up until the end if you are comfortable and energetic enough!
5. YOU WILL FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF PREGNANT AND DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Being able to train throughout pregnancy will increase your mood, due to the positive release of endorphins, encourage healthier eating habits and enable greater control when it comes to gaining weight throughout your pregnancy. This makes it easier to get your body and strength back postpartum, reducing your chances of postpartum depression, often linked to a mothers lack of self-esteem post pregnancy due to changes in her body, especially if there has been excessive weight gain.
So there we have it ladies and future mamas, be sure to get fit, strong and healthy before bringing your precious little jewels into the world!
The above two pictures are of me 8.5 months pregnant with my second and 6 months post-pregnancy after getting back into the gym for 6 weeks (I began training 8 weeks post pregnancy again).
Below I have added images of my postpartum recovery progress, without having trained at all, which shows the bodies ability to recover, once you have established a good healthy and fitness “savings account.” I began training properly again at 8 weeks postpartum, as this was when I felt ready. I technically could have started at 6 weeks after my OBGYN gave me the “all clear” after my c-section. However, I still had not established enough of a sleeping routine and was getting my nutrition routine in balance with the new juggle of having two kids to look after instead of one (a huge leap, wow haha.) It is SO important not to start before you feel ready and have all of these things in order.
These images show the following, reading left to right:
1 week postpartum – 2 weeks postpartum – 4 weeks postpartum – 8 weeks postpartum