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I am pregnant, and my body feels very strange!

I have worked with pregnant and postnatal women for 5 years now, helping them to navigate the new and ever-changing version of their body. I work with them to figure out how to keep it moving comfortably and how to avoid and manage aches and pains. But it is only recently with my own pregnancy that I am really grasping all of the strange sensations and changes a pregnant body can experience.

In the beginning I found it very challenging!

I know there are so many benefits to keeping active while pregnant, but I was experiencing lots of barriers to doing just that. All of a sudden my core strength (that I was clearly taking for granted) was compromised, making it difficult to lift, to sit up in bed or get up swiftly out of a chair. I felt tired all the time and it was realllly hard to get moving and keep active. On the flip side, on the days I feel good and want to get moving, I have a changed level of endurance, and the exercise I want to be doing and have always done feels very different and more challenging. I had to learn that I can become breathless unpacking the shopping and recognise that sometimes new aches and discomforts will pop up, as a way for my body to tell me to slow down a bit.

We are often told to ‘listen to your body’ and while I am slowly figuring out what this temporary version of my body is telling me, in the beginning it can be really tricky when it is sending all kinds of mixed signals.

Everyone’s experience of pregnancy is very different, and I was in a very lucky position to have already heard most of those stories and even luckier to know the intricacies of how and why pregnancy can change the way we move and feel. It didn’t take long for me to try different approaches and take some of my own advice to help me feel better.

A few of my key learnings so far have been:

  1. Less is more! Keep workouts smaller, and less frequent than I think I can do. Adapted strength training 2-3 x a week for 20-30 minutes is much more manageable than longer and more regular sessions.

  2. Walking is not the best exercise for everyone – for me it made my pelvic girdle pain worse, so I had to find other ways to get whole body movement OR I had to cut my walks into smaller, more frequent chunks.

  3. Sometimes I just needed to rest for a week, especially in the first trimester.

  4. Core supports like a tubi grip or a belly brace can be super helpful if you have a particularly active day (speak to us about it, we can give you loads of options).

It was a bit of trial and error, and what works best for me might not be the best for you. However, if you are pregnant and struggling to stay active, or experiencing pelvic girdle pain, or just don’t quite know what is safe during pregnancy then come and speak with me, Naomi or Sophie. To help pregnant women feel good in their body is one of our favourite things to do!

We also run regular ‘Mums and Bubs’ exercise classes in Kingston, Naracoorte and Bordertown. For those of you (like me) that need a little extra push to keep moving or want some exercise guidance these are the perfect classes for you. We can direct you with pelvic floor, and pelvic pain safe exercises for pregnancy and post partum and enjoy an hour of stretching, strengthening, and chatting.

I look forward to seeing what I have to tell you in part 2 of my lived experiences – birth and post natal recovery!



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