Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Mindset
Currently I am taking a course from Brianna Battles on pregnancy and postpartum athleticism. One key thing that resonated with me was the mindset of female athletes. By female athlete I am referring to either a professional athlete, a runner, a women who attends group classes, a police officer, a hiker etc!
I really struggled with changing my usual physical activities because I physically could do it during pregnancy and postpartum so I didn't understand on why I should change. I wanted to continue to run during my 3rd pregnancy even though I KNEW I shouldn't. I was doing remote coaching with Brianna Battles and she asked why I wanted to run still because she suggested I don't run after my 1st trimester unless I am working with a physio. To be honest I didn't have a good answer. Yes I love running, but running really wasn't super comfortable for me later in all my pregnancies. I just wanted to run because I wanted to prove to everyone I could... I also wasn't sure what else I could do that would make me sweat and feel good since being athletic is part of who I am and my outlet. After being asked why, I realized their was no reason I should be running especially if it wasn't comfortable. NO one really cared if I kept running... I just had the mindset to always push through. Growing up being an athlete I was taught to work hard and push through your limits and discomforts. I was stubborn and not only wanted to prove it to others (who now I realize probably did not care!), but to prove it to myself that I could still be strong and fit! I now know there are many different ways to be strong and fit safely and effectively throughout your pregnancy and postpartum journey.
Looking back I now realize how silly it was to not be open to change. I had 3 babies, of course I changed! My body changed, my fitness changed, my car changed, my relationships changed and my life changed. Everyone changes over time and people need to be willing to embrace those changes.
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should! Like Brianna states, the female athletes have to measure the risk vs the reward of what they are doing. This will look different for everyone.
We, as women, cannot ignore little pains or feelings while pregnant or postpartum because that is where injuries happen.
Training with strategies and intent will set you up for the future. The slow way is the fast way.
Women should stay active in their pregnancy and postpartum, but more trainers need to be in the grey/middle area of that training. I don't think most pregnant or newly postpartum women need to be laying around doing only breathing for a workout, but I also don't think they necessarily should be running marathons or doing very heavy, explosive Olympic lifts. We need to be more focused on the middle area and meeting women where they are at.