Bringing new life into the world is an absolute blessing. Babies have an aura about themselves, that makes life just a tad bit sweeter. One of my friends and former teammate, Craishia Washington, from college recently gave birth to a little boy. I have invited her to share her advice to other mothers who are expecting and want to stay active during their pregnancy. It should be noted that neither myself or Craishia are not medical experts, therefore what may have worked for her during pregnancy may not work for you. Always seek your doctor’s advice before trying any workout when you’re expecting.
Rachel: Did you find it difficult to workout during your pregnancy?
Craishia: This was not an issue for me since I lived a very active lifestyle prior to my pregnancy. The rule of thumb during pregnancy is to not try something new – so if you’ve always worked out then you’ll be fine continuing as long as you modify the further along you get. If you weren’t active before, it’s not the safest idea to try to become an Olympian so to speak. Instead, perform moderate exercises as often as you can.
Rachel: What advice would you give to expecting mothers who want to be able to workout?
Craishia: For expecting mothers, I would advise you to be as active as you can while you can in the beginning. I had a much smoother delivery than I could imagine – which many mothers told me likely attributed to my physical fitness level. Plus, the further along I became, the less I was able to do.
Rachel: What were some of the workouts you did during your pregnancy?
Craishia: I focused hard on cardio, as building muscle was no longer a priority for me but rather shedding any extra fat for my delivery. I began with treadmill runs mixed with free weights in the beginning (dumbbell) which included incorporating the squat rack and even bench press; I even had a couple of yoga sessions (which is highly recommended throughout the entire life of your pregnancy). Towards the end, I switched over to the elliptical, since running became more difficult, followed by battle rope exercises and squats with medicine balls. To switch it up on a given day, I did dumbbell lunges or even push ups.
Rachel: How often did you work out while pregnant?
Craishia: In the beginning of my pregnancy, I worked out daily during the work week and took my weekends off as regular. Towards the nearing end of my pregnancy, my sessions were as frequent as 2-4 times a week.
Rachel: What was a motivational factor that made you want to workout while pregnant?
I wanted to prep my body the best way I knew how.