“Be in the best shape of your life before getting pregnant.”
These words of wisdom came from my girlfriend as she struggled to get in shape after her baby was born. Never having to exercise a day in her life before giving birth, I witnessed her struggle to get back into fighting form.
At the time she said this to me, I was nowhere near ready to even think about pregnancy but for some reason her words stuck in my head. I decided to crack down and get in “the best shape of my life”. Suddenly, I realized the workouts I had been doing routinely for years, while time consuming, were ineffective! I needed to learn how to simultaneously become more efficient and effective.
After trying out various combinations of classes and workouts, I landed on a regiment of circuit training 3 days a week and Moksha Yoga 2 -3 times a week, which I still practice regularly at Moksha Yoga in Los Angeles.
When my time did come, I did not find out that I was pregnant until I was already two months along. Luckily, my new routine had paid off. But I didn’t truly understand the value of my hard work until now, post pregnancy, when the fun really starts!
Being in great shape prior to getting pregnant allowed me to maintain a higher level of fitness throughout the pregnancy and not only gave me energy, but also helped with carrying the extra weight around. On a 5″2 frame, any extra weight is a challenge. My doctor assured me that I could continue working out as I had done before the pregnancy, but should not be introducing new challenges.
After the first trimester, when the nausea subsided and my energy returned, I was able to pick up where I left off with some modifications. I hiked, jogged, did yoga (though not hot yoga) and I felt GREAT. I was sure to put my baby’s health first and checked in with my doctor about my limitations. She supported my efforts to stay active and just reminded me to be conscious of my heart rate and to not push myself past my limits.
My baby girl decided to come almost a month early, with my water breaking on the dance floor of a close friend’s wedding. It was a great labor and baby Stella came out healthy and ready to meet the world!
The next challenge I faced was getting back to my ideal shape after the baby. But knowing all that I had accomplished throughout my pregnancy and having delivered a beautiful, health baby, I was ready for the test!