What a relief to finally be able to share the news - I’m pregnant! I’m not the most maternal of people (!) but I have always wanted kids so I’m very excited for this next chapter and as ready as I’ll ever be. Just trying not to over-think the fact that a human is growing inside of me and all will be fine ;)
If you didn’t know (I didn’t!) - the usual way that pregnant ‘weeks’ are counted is to start 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. So if you do a test the earliest that you can possibly do a test and you get a positive then you’ll already be about 3-4 weeks pregnant. So I was 4 weeks when I found out and I just knew! Surreal but very very exciting!!
PT & PREGNANT
This post is just an overall recap of my 1st Trimester living and working in London but more-so as a busy Personal Trainer - how I felt and how I handled it in regards to working, nutrition and training. DISCLAIMER: one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that every single person’s pregnancy is different. So many people have given me advice and given me their opinions on many topics - but as everyone’s pregnancy is as unique as we are individual - you cannot compare your pregnancy to someone elses. So the below is most certainly NOT advice from me - it is simply me documenting my journey so far!
I know many ladies go through extremely challenging 1st trimesters and compared to them, I know I have been lucky. However - it’s not been completely plain sailing and at times I have struggled even with a strong PMA! Of course, it’s 100% worth it but I have a new found respect for women who silently go through this time juggling so much.
TIREDNESS, DIZZINESS & NAUSEA
I was around 7 weeks when I started to get symptoms. The first thing was tiredness. Just knackered all the time - even if I went to bed super early and got 8 hours sleep, I’d wake up in the morning and find it hard to extract myself from the bed. Very hard for me as I get up around 5.30am every week day morning for work, I’m a total morning person and love my usual get up and go! If I could sneak a quick nap in the afternoon then I would ahead of evening clients - unheard of for me as I find it really hard to nap but I'm a pro now!
Next was nausea. So bad as soon as I woke up I had to eat something straight away - I usually kept a banana by my bed as otherwise I’d dry wretch brushing my teeth. This kind of lingered throughout the morning & sometimes into the afternoon but to be honest, I found once I’d levered myself out of bed told myself to get over it and crack on - I could deal with it. A few deep breaths if it ever got a bit much!
I also got quite dizzy often, if I stood up too quickly or...did cardio! From doing my pre & post natal PT course a year ago I believe what was going on is called vascular underfill. Your blood volume increases when you’re pregnant to account for the extra oxygen that is required for your baby so your blood vessels increase in size to allow for this. Sometimes in the 1st Trimester the size of the vessels increase before the blood volume so it’s essentially like having low blood pressure. Sitting down for a bit or lie down with legs up helped! After a while I got used to what set it off so I could avoid!
The other thing that happened very strongly was smells. I went off a lot of my regular surrounding smells and they made me feel so sick! I had to throw away perfume, candles and room diffusers because they made me feel sick. There are a few smells which I smell now in some places which still turn my stomach. That sort of consistent smell that hangs around the tube can absolutely do one! Weird!!
I haven’t had regular cravings for anything in particular. Initially I wanted anything that had a crunch - granola, crackers….salt and vinegar crisps. Then it had to be cool and fresh - like fresh juicy fruit, crudités or freshly squeezed orange juice. THEN I WENT OFF MY OWN COOKING!!! I love making my own food - lots of chicken, rice and green veg and I couldn’t face any of this! Cold food seemed to be fine so my normal breakfast proats were ok, salad was ok…but nothing cooked. There have been a few mid-week Deliveroo dinners. Especially if I got home really late from work and I was exhausted. I just tried to keep it as healthy as possible - Nando’s or Turkish (chicken, rice & salad….). I wasn’t mad on beige food as I know a lot of people can be but I did get a new yearning for chips of all things which I’m never usually bothered about! If I realised I hadn’t had any greens in a day I’d try to get a green juice in. It was really important for me to keep my protein high so, after prioritising whole foods, I think whey protein is absolutely fine to have when pregnant and I still do have this every day. It's basically milk and if you use a good brand like Neat Nutrition or In the Kin it's all organic, a handful of ingredients only and nasty free!
All in all, I haven’t been as consistently healthy as I usually am which I’m relaxed about. I can honestly say I have done my best and that’s good enough for me! Many people told me ‘just relax and eat whatever you want’ and I don’t agree with that. Yes it’s hard but more so at this time your body needs nutrients and good food. It’s fine to indulge in a bit of what you fancy (which omg I did!) but I practiced hard at saying stop at a certain point and I’m so glad I did. Eating for 2 is a myth and if you are craving pizza then try to put it off for a bit…then if you’re really still craving it then maybe have it....but not every night!! I just tried to think - will a massive bag of Percy Pigs benefit a growing baby?!
The benefits of excercise whilst pregnant are now known thank goodness and gone are the days where you just have to sit at home legs up! (Though you will still come across some people who think this is the way). The research says you can train as normal in your 1st Trimester or some suggest 80%. I trained around 80% of normal until about week 6 - weights, HIIT, crossfit, yoga - then I really had to cut down. The key thing is not to push yourself and do only what feels right. So pretty much any cardio was out for me as it made me feel dizzy and sick. I also went off yoga which was a shame. I quickly found that I could do a decent 30 minute weight training sesh and that was my limit so I stuck to that. My job meant that I was walking over 10k steps a day and I was active when I was demo-ing. Did I always want to work out? No. Did I ever miss a planned session - yes a few times. Whilst you 100% must listen to your body and sometimes you do need to rest, sometimes just getting up and out is the battle. Once you’re there and you’re moving it feels great, even if it turns into just a stretching session it’s better than nothing and it gives you energy! You can always stop if you need to - I never push myself. The research we have now shows that there are multiple benefits of working out when pregnant as long as you don’t do anything new and you’ve been signed off by your doctor if required.
Again this is very personal and I don't have any authority to recommend supplements - you have to find what’s right for you. This is just want I have been using and I saw a nutritionist plus passed these past my doctor: Nutri-Advanced Pregnancy Multi Essentials (Multi-Vit), Eskimo-3 Fish Oils and....I also have been using Fyborgel fibre supps….yes THAT struggle is real!
14 WEEKS IN.....!
I’m now in my 14th week….I still have a few symptoms lingering but I actually woke up on Saturday & Monday this week and felt amazing! The best I’d felt in a long time - so I’m hoping my 2nd trimester energy is incoming! I'm really looking forward to continuing working and training in this trimester and treating my body the best I can to grow this baby!