More than five years ago I put up a paper with a new baby about my fitness, pregnancy and life experience. I learned what I had learned and experienced over the course of a few months from fertilization to the young phase.
I’m lucky because I wrote it all down, because I certainly don’t remember much of those busy years. Looking at my notes, the volume of information and the pressure to do the right thing for my baby and me seemed overwhelming.
What has changed
Today, five years later, there are more health trainers and physiotherapists trained to work with pregnant and postnatal bodies, and books and podcasts that establish the latest research are available. Fortunately, it also seems to be gradually moving away from aesthetic goals. Having a great look during pregnancy or adapting after the baby is not the focus of this new breed of health coaches. Feeling good about yourself, feeling strong enough to deal with the challenges of motherhood, and feeling confident enough to know when you need to sleep, move, or ask for help is the end of a mother’s list of goals.
The positive side of Covid
The key benefit of the growth of virtual classes and coaches in this Covid world is that we have greater access to experts in pregnancy and women’s health. There are opportunities to enjoy classes and learn in online workshops for specialists from around the world. Although the only option might have been a local pregnancy class (at a time when it didn’t suit me) or some old fitness DVDs, there are now endless options to suit your needs, interests, and schedule. The only problem is that there are too many options.
A light guide
What you will notice at each stage is that having a relationship with a good pelvic health physiotherapist can be a huge benefit as you navigate the body you are changing and practice everything that is normal or not on the way. Knowing how normal we feel can create confidence in our body, make us feel less anxious and certainly know what we should do or what we can do at the right time. Your local pelvic health physiotherapist may be able to recommend other professionals, support groups, or fitness classes in your area or online.
The voice of experience
Although the journey I take along this path will be different from yours, I hope you appreciate something you can do every day to take care of yourself, and that doesn’t always have to be physical exercise. At this stage of our lives our health can be sacrificed so much as a result of a mother’s desire to do everything for her child and leave her no time. Fatigue is a big factor, and sometimes it’s easier to put on other clothes than to lie on the floor and do two-minute exercises. Realizing that, we can’t accept that we can’t do it every day, but you can also decide to do something for yourself, you can put yourself on the path to feeling more positive about your body.
Make your race
Next month my little boy will turn five and get ready to start school. It doesn’t matter how much I ran during my pregnancy, how soon I got into jeans or, in fact, how long it took me to get back to my postpartum period. In fact, my view on fitness and running has changed a lot over the years, so you may also find that the most important thing before pregnancy is not having it in the future. We do fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum return differently for physical exercise. It’s not a competition. Our children are also different, as well as their lives outside of parenting and physical exercise, so we need to go with what we think is right for us and not get caught up in the race for perfection that we don’t have to try our best. it will only burn you to a destination and try to get there.
It’s hard to reconcile every stage of pregnancy and life in an article with a new baby, so below, I’ve provided you with links to each relevant article. A full range of pregnancy travel articles are still available online and provide information on the challenges of a good time in the new season. This time I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the body by talking to women’s health physiotherapist doulas, yoga teachers and obstetricians. Some of my best tips were there before and they came from mothers who learned through their experiences.
I hope you find something to help you wherever you are on this wonderful path.
– Fitness and fertility
– Fitness and first trimester
– Fitness and second trimester
– Fitness and third trimester
– Fitness with a newborn
– Fitness with a three-month-old baby
– Looking back on pregnancy and the first year of the baby
– Return to postpartum guidelines
Sign up for one The Irish Times’ Get Running programs (it’s free!).
First, choose an eight-week program that suits you.
– Beginner course: 30-minute course from inactivity to running.
– Follow the right path: For those who can squeeze in several times a week.
– 10 km course: Designed for those who want to climb 10 km.
Best of luck!
She is the founder of Mary Jennings ForgetGym.ie. It trains runners of all levels to reduce the risk of injury and to run more