#Justshowup Preggo Edition

We give you… Mama Maayan.

I’ve been coming to NP Indy for just about two years since I moved to Indianapolis, and to me (and my husband who joined shortly thereafter) NP is home. Casey and Shaw learned my name and welcomed me into the fold and the hugs kept me hooked. So when I got pregnant, I was worried about how it would go. I also wanted to stay in shape to be healthy for labor. I looked up some other blog articles and found some great stories from some bad-ass Moms (https://november-project.com/np_bos-guest-blog-by-heather-millar/) and (https://november-project.com/november-project-by-leanne-hughes-johnson-nov_project_msn/). 

I wanted to write about my experience, which is about my personal experience and in no way meant as medical advice. Please make sure to discuss your exercise routine with your personal midwife or obstetrician.

#1 Just show up. There are so many benefits to being in the NP space aside from the workout. Being part of the tribe is important to me, even if it just means a stroll at 36 weeks. 

#2 Moving is super helpful. I find anything, from walking to just wiggling to be helpful in loosening up the normal aches and pains that come from pregnancy. I feel like it helps with the swelling, too.

#3 Listen to my body. Probably the hardest thing to do, because I used to really enjoy the almost-puking-dying feeling at the end of a hard workout. I still sweat and try to do exercises that are challenging. It took a few weeks to find the balance between what is not fun and good for me, and not fun and probably unnecessary or unwise. I also started prenatal yoga and swimming more, especially later on when running was no fun.

#4 Change my definition of a PR. I used to be kind of competitive and took PR/race day pretty seriously. At first I still tried to push, but even at 12 weeks or so I slowed down a decent amount, and I had to learn to be OK with that. At about 20 weeks the feeling of my uterus slamming against my bladder made running less fun than any endorphins I got out of it, and I did more walking. I try to joke about how I’m doing burpees for two.

#5 Walking is fine. Just fine. I try to focus on how helpful it’s supposed to be for baby’s position. It’s frustrating to get lapped for the 4th time sometimes, or to end up isolated outside the rest of the workout group, and I worry about making others less motivated to push. I hope, though, that people see the challenge of a 20lb abdominal basketball as motivation. Plus I get to provide breaks to some of the overworked pups.

#6 Modify. Thankfully NP doesn’t include many exercises that I’ve read are not the best ideas, like scuba diving or cleaning heavy weights. Again, please refer back to your healthcare provider and #3. I was able to do most of the exercises through about half my pregnancy, but abs are funny. Abdominal muscles connect the hips to the ribs and when they contract they bring them closer together… or at least they used to. Also I try to avoid excessive jumping or anything that makes me pee myself. Exercises I try to sub in a lot are squats (which are supposed to strengthen your hips, better than kegels, according to some!), cat/cows, bridge lifts (aka pelvic tilts or Sky-humpers), lunges, side planks, leg lifts, and more squats. If I widen my stance, anything with a fold, like burpees, are more doable.

#7 Hydrate! Gotta drink for two, and keep the electrolytes up to prevent cramping. Helps to have a super baby-daddy who has my Nuun waiting when I come down in the morning.

Anyway, I hope everyone out there finds NP as inclusive as I have. Love you, NPIndy.

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