TRAINER, CATHY GRANT
Giving birth has been compared to running a marathon, long, exhausting and painful on the body.
Pregnancy is like a training period for the most exciting challenge you have yet to participate in. It all starts with two little blue lines and then it hits you! “My life is going to change FOREVER! ”First time I found out I was pregnant I scratched my car off the side of my house, but there you go, things are different for everyone. I'm going to repeat that - EVERY pregnancy is different for every person, for every new pregnancy, for different reasons.
Pregnancy symptoms suck! While the symptoms vary from woman to woman, in trimester one is when they really hit and at times, they can be hard to manage.
So, here’s how trimester one went for me and how I tried to balance it with my everyday life.
Fatigue usually sets in early and can affect women as early as week 4 into the pregnancy. I would come home from work in the middle of the day take a nap and then go back into work in the evening. The nap saved me! With my second baby I wasn’t so lucky, so I had to make do with lying on the couch.
Movement is great for mummy and great for baby! Exercise can be a great way to combat some of those early pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, mood swings and later round ligament pain (lower abdominal) Working out helped to distract from the nausea, raise my energy levels and make me feel happier. I used this time to stay fit for the birth and strengthen muscles needed for when baby arrives. Believe you me, some days you will feel like your arms are going to fall off from holding baby for so long! Lifting baby, feeding baby, moving buggy’s in and out of cars, juggling baby and day to day chores. It can really put pressure on your body.
Once I was cleared by my GP/Consultant, I continued to train as normal as long as things felt comfortable. I didn't need to alter my workouts at this stage, but modifications can be made as you progress through. In general, you can keep doing what you are doing for now. Any exercise where you feel your abdomen is working or creating internal pressure should be modified or changed accordingly. I started my pelvic floor exercises in this trimester. While in continence and pelvic prolapse are common enough, they are not normal.
Have you ever wondered what you should be eating at this stage? Is it true you should eat for two? Not just yet...in the first trimester you generally do not need to eat any more calories. While I was pregnant, I swore I would eat the cleanest and healthiest diet possible. Bubs 1 and 2 had different ideas. With my son I was generally ok. Smells made me nauseous and eating tomatoes or broccoli meant a rush to the nearest toilet/sink/bin, but in general I was able to choose what I ate and enjoy it. My little girl on the other hand decided that our diet would consist of potatoes and porridge! I kid you not. Until week 14 I could barely stomach protein of any sort, the sight of vegetables made me want to gag and chocolate was just not on the menu. The good news is the baby takes from you what he/she needs. Remember, folic acid is important during early stages for the foetus so make sure to take this supplement while conceiving or as soon as possible after discovering you are pregnant.
I was happy to see the week 12mark for three reasons; it meant I could tell people our news, YAY! I was also past the most precarious stage. Last, it meant things were finally going to get easier, for a while at least!