Fit Pregnancy - Revisited
by Gordo Byrn
The purpose of this article to present an option for athletic moms to consider with their approach to pregnancy. You are a unique population and we wanted to share our experience. Be sure to talk through any advice with your personal physician.
Once again, Monica exercised each day of her pregnancy -- with the focus changing from training to exercising, when she found out that she was pregnant.
The main change with the second pregnancy was a lot more yoga -- 225 sessions from conception to birth. Axel was carried very long in her torso which made all but the last five weeks reasonable for her comfort. She didn’t “pop” until the final month.
Running remained comfortable, but slow, until the 37th week when back pain meant that she had to stop. Once she stopped running, she increased swimming to five to six times per week, which was done three times per week the rest of the time.
Speaking to my friends in the medical community and balancing against Monica’s goals, I noticed a divergence of objectives. Put plainly, the hospital is not incentivized to optimize the wellness of postpartum mothers.
In America, the message heard by pregnant women can be:
Now that might not be what our doctors are being trained to say but its what I hear repeated from women and expectant fathers. I’m not sure that message is best for the mother’s mental or physical health.
Turning the message around, a good summary of Monica’s approach:
Monica is 5’10” (athletic build, 20.5 BMI) and didn’t present large. Total weight gain (41.5 weeks) was 26 lbs (23 lbs at full term). Axel was 9 lbs, 9 oz at birth, which surprised our doc. When she was discharged, she was 10 lbs over pre-conception weight. Two weeks after delivery, she was pretty much back at her pre-conception weight.
It’s important to emphasize that she didn’t have any weight goals, rather the pregnancy saw a consistent focus on the four bullet points above. Across the entire pregnancy, her doctor was encouraging faster weight gain, until Axel popped out and surprised everyone with his size.
Additional tips for the athletic couple-to-be:
Gordo is the founder of Endurance Corner. You can find his personal blog here.