When I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately started scouring the internet for information about working out while growing a human. Right away, I came across a quote that I love and have kept in my mind as I’ve made decisions about my nutrition and exercise in the past 4 months:
If you knew you were going to run a marathon in 6 months, you would start training; why not start preparing your body now for labor?
And it’s SO true. Labor and delivery is a multi-day event that takes weeks to recover from… way more intense than a marathon. Yet most people spend months preparing for a race, but maybe take a few birthing classes at best to get themselves ready for labor. That is not the position I want to be in, and I knew that I could use CrossFit to keep me in shape so that my body is as ready as it can be for what my midwife refers to as “the big show.”
I have been given the “all clear” to keep exercising from both my midwife and the awesome prenatal chiropractor that I’m seeing. I wasn’t given a target heart rate to stay under, but was just told to keep my breathing under control and not let myself ever get so out of breath that it takes more than 15 or 20 seconds to bring my breathing and heart rate back down. I was also told that I could keep doing all the movements that I did before as long as they still felt normal, and if/when they started to feel different, to reevaluate.
But, truth be told, I have had a really tough time keeping a regular workout schedule for the past 4 months. I was already having a hard time making time to go to the gym at the beginning of the semester, and I decided to give myself a break and stop stressing about it for the first few weeks of January until I got into a groove with my new class schedule. Then, I found out I was pregnant the first weekend in February. I tried to get in the gym when I had time, but during my first trimester, if I had an extra hour, I was using it to take a nap, not lift weights. I’m now a little more than halfway through my 4th month, and I’ve had a lot more energy, but the past 2 weeks have been nothing but finals and recovering from finals. But I made it to the gym on Sunday… and Monday… and am on my way again today, and it has felt AWESOME.
Sunday was rowing, burpee pull-ups, and PVC jump-overs (where the PVC was placed on top of a 20″ box). Rowing is still fine for me, although I move a little bit more slowly than I used to, just like with everything else. Burpees are a no-go because it’s frowned upon to slam your pregnant belly on the hard ground, but I just do modified burpees with a half push-up. Pull-ups have mostly switched to ring rows or strict negatives, because kipping is pretty uncomfortable for my abs, so for this WOD I did modified-burpee-box-jump-negatives. It worked. The PVC jump-overs were fine, I just made sure to take my time so that I didn’t slip.
Monday was an EMOM with alternating power cleans and push-ups, followed by 3 rounds of 50 double-unders and 25 wall balls. Power cleans still feel awesome, and if I do banded push-ups I can control my descent enough (and lift my butt up just a little) to get a mostly-full push-up. DUs still also feel awesome, but wall balls–my arch nemesis–are just as hard as ever, and I have to be even more aware when I’m doing them now because I get out of breath so quickly. Although it does give me a good excuse to use a lighter wall ball, which I’ll take!
Today is DUs and hang snatches. I imagine I’ll modify to go pretty light with the hang snatch, but otherwise I’m looking forward to using that overhead position to keep my core and back strong and using the squat and DUs to help tone up my pelvic floor.
Overall I hope I can keep CrossFitting until my due date. I know that my body (and Squishy) might have other plans, but for now it feels great to be able to be in the gym, so I’ll take it!
So proud of you lady! You do you, and we are honestly going to support you 100%. To me, that is what is most important. Funny story: I have a lady friend at the gym who is pregnant (due in June) and my co-worker is as well (due in July). Gym friend is doing amazing and kicking butt, and I really think she’s going to rock birthing this baby (which is her third). Coworker goes on walks…but that’s about it, and everyone is so cautious of how “fragile” she is right now. If I am still working here when we decide to have little babes, they will be in for a rude awakening — because there is no way I can step away from CrossFit for that long!
Right! There’s no way I could take 9 months off… Even the thought of taking 6 weeks off after I have the baby seems like a lot! And even though I have definitely had to force my ego to take a backseat, I really hope I am never seen as a “fragile” pregnant woman!
Good on you, lady! I used to read “Carrots & Cake” on occasion – she’s a crossfitter and marathoner who documented her workouts throughout her whole pregnancy. Might be some ideas there too? I’m all in favor of working out during pregnancy. And naps. Lots of those.
Congrats on surviving finals!!