Does One Size Really Fit All When it Comes to Working Out While Pregnant?
Written by Melissa Hurley
Sadly, the saying “One-size fits all” does NOT apply to pregnancy. I am currently in my 3rd Trimester, the end of the 7th month and can tell you the number one thing I’ve learned is being pregnant looks different for everyone. Being a past CrossFit Games athlete, I thought I’d be one of those Instagram women doing it all during my pregnancy, never easing up off the gas pedal with my fitness.
Whelp, my body had a different plan. I was super sick my first trimester with Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possible dehydration. I had the pure joy of all these symptoms causing two ER visits and a 5-day hospital stay compliments of my OBGYN. Needless to say, things weren’t going as I had envisioned. I went on disability for 2.5 months mainly clinging to my bed in hopes of sleeping through the discomfort. I wasn’t supposed to be at home, it was only my first trimester. I was suppose to carry on as nothing had changed; keep working, keep working out, keep a perfect diet and be a pregnant superstar.
My second trimester was better. I was on anti-nausea medications and finally able to keep liquids and food down. I returned to work on a reduced schedule in hopes to feel some normalcy again. My energy level was coming back as they say it does with the second trimester and my OBGYN was on board with me resuming my normal activity levels. I was able to get back to some fitness, which felt amazing and super hard. I had wrapped my head around the fact that any exercise/activity was a blessing. I need that physical, emotional release. So I set my ego aside, I erased that picture perfect Instagram video of the pregnant woman busting out her butterfly pull-ups, and I embraced movment. Modified movement – bike instead of run, banded or seated pull-ups instead of butterfly, lighter weights, DBs for the barbell, etc. I just wanted to move, burn off stress, feel my new strong and sweat.
The third trimester just seems long. The baby bump is real, oh so real. Varicose veins, walking with a wobble, achy hips, restless leg syndrome, low energy, geographic tongue, etc., are all very real for me. Not everyone has any or some of these symptoms and I’m sure there are others who have more, like being prescribed bed rest in the third trimester, rough. We all can compare ourselves to the Instagram outlier versus asking “What is best for me?” None of us are the same…thank God…don’t fall into the trap of comparison.
As women, we will all walk this journey a little differently. Some will have excessive swelling, some will gain weight everywhere, while others look the same, some will work and workout the same day they go into labor, some will have complications, some will love being pregnant. There are so many differences that can take place in one’s body versus another’s. Don’t stress!!
Sure, seek advice. Ask other women who have taken the journey, do all you can to stay healthy, embrace the changes in your body and emotions, listen to your doctor, etc. Ultimately, it is YOUR journey. Listen to your body and your gut (or baby bump). Trust your instincts and intuition for what is right for you and your baby; food, activity, care plan, etc. Do YOU! One size definitely does not fit all.
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