Here’s Your Permission To Skip Exercise During Pregnancy
If you've been looking for the perfect excuse to skip exercise during pregnancy, here is your official permission. We know that exercise during pregnancy is important and that exercise, in general, is great for us. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy or fun to do when you're rocking an extra-large bump out in front.
Each and every time I have been pregnant, precisely two things have happened:
- I have started out my pregnancy with the best of intentions to stay on my workout schedule. I vowed I would be one of those super-inspiring fit mamas, putting down burpees at nine months and squatting my way into labor.
- Somewhere around seven months, when the bump started to get really real, my great intentions started to fade out a little … Or a lot.
Honestly, by the time I got to the end of my pregnancies, especially the last two, even just breathing felt like a struggle. I dreaded anything that involved bending over, rolling over, or walking for long distances of time. So you know, life. I was so large (I had polyhydramnios, a condition when your body produces excess amniotic fluid) that I just couldn't even make any move at all without being in pain. It was not fun at all and when I saw pictures of videos of moms who were even farther along in their pregnancies whizzing by in a jog or doing yoga or popping some squats like it was no biggie, I felt like a failure.
But here's the thing: No one experiences pregnancy the same. Yes, some women really will feel physically able to exercise all nine months. And yes, exercising all nine months is the ideal way to get through pregnancy and best prepare for labor and birth. But other women, myself included, will experience complications that will interfere with our ability to exercise during pregnancy. And that doesn't make us failures.
And if you don't trust me, trust a fitness expert like Emily Skye. She is a professional trainer and exercise extraordinaire who just happens to have over 2.1 million followers on Instagram. Skye is currently pregnant with her first baby and has documented how she has stayed fit, through lifting weights and plenty of low-impact exercises. And despite the fact that Skye was incredibly lean and ripped before she got pregnant (Exhibit A), she has slowed down a lot during her pregnancy and even admitted that (gasp) she skips workouts sometimes.
In several Instagram posts, Skye urged her fellow pregnant mamas to first and foremost listen to their bodies during pregnancy. They should never feel guilty for giving their bodies what they needed, whether that be more rest, sleep, or even snacks they wouldn't normally eat. Skye confessed that she worked out precisely two times during her first trimester. Yup, that's it. Even Instagram fitness models can get hit with the freight train that is the first trimester of pregnancy.
“Every pregnancy is different. I tune into my body and always do what’s best for my growing baby,” she explained. “If that means I rest and don’t exercise then that’s what I do and I don’t beat myself up about it. During the whole first trimester I only did 2 very easy home workouts but spent the rest of the time laying on my couch eating whatever I felt like – and I never felt like “healthy food” haha!”
The trainer and soon-to-be mama also showed off the cellulite she's gained since pregnancy. She noted that she is absolutely fine with it and has shifted her focus from what her body looks like to its function to protect and nourish her baby right now. Skye also recognized all the miserable preggos out there who can barely move and may feel bad that they genuinely can not work out.
“I see a lot of comments from beautiful pregnant ladies on my current workout vids saying they can't do anything,” Skye said. “I just want you ladies to know that you shouldn't feel bad or guilty if you can't exercise while pregnant. We're all different and our priority right now is of course the health of our baby/babies. If it means you're only allowed and able to stay in bed then so be it. Don't compare yourself to other ladies and what they're doing. It's like I always say, all we can ever do is the best we can and THAT is always good enough.”
Amen to that. We're all doing our best and that definitely counts for something.
Have you been able to exercise during pregnancy?