Fit Moms Are Sharing Their Pregnancies On Instagram And I Love It, But Does Everyone?
By Debbie King, SUPAFITMAMA
PHOTO © crystalmariesing/Twenty20
Nov 22, 2018
Don’t drink the water. That’s what people would half-jokingly say whenever more than two women in the office were expecting. Well, based on that idiomatic logic, at least four fitness professionals I know must have sipped the same natural, alkaline spring water last winter, because all those buff beauties became mothers this summer.
And just like that, a new generation of highly active women became privy to their fertility journeys, trimester-by-trimester commentary, birth stories and fourth trimester revelations. For months, there were photos, videos and blog posts filled with their tips for an active, healthy pregnancy — everything from workouts and nutrition to birth prep and recovery.
To be clear, I’m not talking about demure moms-to-be seated in gentle yoga poses. These pre- and postnatal personal trainers, fitness instructors and nutritionists were deadlifting barbells, foam rolling and sharing detailed illustrations of pelvic floor muscles.
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One of the fit moms I follow who brought us along through her pregnancy on Instagram. (Image courtesy of @drdoops_fit)
While two of those four fit professionals posted mostly about their post-workout pump and baby bump, the others offered a more holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and recovery. So along with modifications for that deadlift and techniques for alleviating hip pain, they also covered placenta encapsulation, baby chiro appointments and collagen-filled smoothies.
As a result, any woman can easily search tags like “pregnancy exercise” and “fitpreggers” for pre- and postnatal fitness inspo.
Editor's note: It probably goes without saying, but we're saying it anyway — if you're pregnant, consult your doctor before trying any exercises or making dietary changes.
My Fit Pregnancy
Things have undoubtedly changed since my own pregnancy. Ten years ago, my go-to resources for fitness and pregnancy information were What To Expect When You’re Expecting and Fit Pregnancy magazine. Neither fully addressed my needs as both athlete and expecting mother. I was 33, in great shape and accustomed to regular high-intensity exercise. I knew that standard prenatal exercise guidelines didn’t apply to me, but found few real-life examples of athletic pregnant women.
With every picture-perfect maternity workout outfit and Pinterest-ready breakfast bowl, I wonder how relatable, attainable and healthy it all is to everyone.
At the time, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. After running, spinning and lifting through my first and second trimesters, I was sidelined by iron deficiency and fatigue at 30 weeks. I could have benefited from a resource that showed me pelvic floor relaxation exercises, heathy ways to keep lifting and how to boost iron and energy.
With more female trainers, instructors and nutritionists sipping that spring water, there's a growing library of real-life fitspo to guide you through preparing, strengthening, relaxing and healing your body.
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How Much Is Too Much?
I love that this new wave of fit moms have so much to share but it can, in some ways, feel over-the-top with an air of privilege. With every picture-perfect maternity workout outfit and Pinterest-ready breakfast bowl, I wonder how relatable, attainable and healthy it all is to everyone.
But please, don’t let one too many chia bowl posts on Instagram deter you. Go ahead and learn how breathing or deep core activation exercises may help you. And please don’t feel less-than if organic beet smoothies and placenta encapsulation aren’t your priorities.
Most importantly, please don’t judge your body, pregnancy or recovery against women who have been personally and professionally committed to fitness for decades. In fact, they too acknowledge the individuality of each woman’s body and pregnancy experience.
If you want to have a fit pregnancy, find the pros with posts that suit your needs and lifestyle, and who help you feel empowered. But ensure your doctor is along for the journey.
We still need to be much more educated, but fit pregnancies have come a long way, baby!