Fit Pregnacy Interview Part 12
38 weeks 1st pregnancy
My 12th (and not final) Fit Pregnancy Interview is with Julia Ladewski
Powerlifter, Strength Coach, and Mom! Julia is a former #1 ranked powerlifter turned mom whose is working to get back on the platform. Her best competition lifts are 462 squat, 254 bench and 424 deadlift. She is currently the Program Director of a Parisi Speed School and loves impacting the lives of kids and adults every day. Julia was also a Division I strength coach for 8 years and has seen it all when it comes to athletic performance. She’s here today to share with you her fit pregnancy experience of two healthy babies, and also her fit mom experiences.
Make sure to check out her Fit Mom website called Mom WOD, which gives you all the support and resources you need to be a fit, healthy and strong mom: http://www.momwod.com/
She also has a great Youtube site, where you can see her being ultra strong and awesome:
Julia, this interview is for you to share your fit pregnancy experience with other women. Unfortunately so many women are scared to exercise while pregnant for fear it is harmful for their unborn babies. How do you feel about this now that you’ve had your own fit pregnancy?
I think it's an unnecessary fear that these women have. While pregnant women weren't running on treadmills thousands of years ago, you can bet they were very active within their home and out in the fields. After having gone through two fit pregnancies, I feel extremely confident in my decision to be a fit pregnant mom and to support other women to do the same.
How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? What were you doing?
I was training pretty hard prior to getting pregnant. I lifted weights 3-4 days a week and did a day or two sled dragging or interval training. Most of my training was powerlifting based. I had been competing for 5 years prior to getting pregnant. In fact, I had done a powerlifting competition in April of 2008 and found out I was pregnant with my son on May 8th.
When you found out your were pregnant, did you modify your workout routine? How & Why?
At first, yes. Like most women, I wasn't sure what exercising would do to the baby. That, and the fact that I was ridiculously exhausted my first trimester! Mostly, I just cut back the heavy weights. I still lifted weights though. Once the first trimester ended, I had researched and realized that I could still do a lot of things.
When you first found out you were pregnant what was your primary concern with respect to your exercise routine?
Honestly, I was afraid of losing the hard earned muscle I had worked for 10 years to build. And I was afraid that "taking nine months off" would turn me into a blob. Training hard was a part of who I was, and I didn't want to lose that part of me just because I was a mom.
Overall, during your pregnancy, describe what did you do for exercise?
I did one day of lower body weights (squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, etc.), one day of upper body weights (bench press, chin-ups, shoulder press, etc), and one day of a lower/upper circuit day. I walked a couple days a week on the treadmill and I did one or two days of intervals on an AirDyne bike.
How did other people around you react to your fit pregnancy? Was it positive or negative?
Most people were very positive and often complimented me on continuing to do work out while being pregnant. I don't think I had any negative reactions or anyone thinking I was overdoing it.
What was the most supportive thing someone told you about your fit pregnancy? The most unsupportive?
The most supportive thing people would say was that they hoped they could work out like me when/if they ever become pregnant. To me, that was inspiration to continue to be healthy for me and my baby.
How was your first trimester, with respect to exercise?
My first trimester (both pregnancies) were pretty exhausting. I honestly just did what I could. Which was mostly two days a week of some type of circuit training that lasted 30 minutes.
Once I started to feel a little better, I ramped my weight training back up again. I never lifted to a maximal attempt but I mostly did repetitions of 3 to 10. So it still allowed me to lift a little bit of weight, but I never over strained more than what I believe was harmful. Again, walking on the treadmill and intervals of 30 seconds fast/ 30 seconds slow on the AirDyne bike.
Stayed mostly the same as my second trimester. I probably didn't do quite as much intervals on the bike, but I did walk and ride the bike casually. I still lifted weights three days a week. And around the 7 month mark, I changed all my flat benching exercises to incline bench or overhead press. I didn't do any deadlifts (mostly because it was hard to pick up a bar off the floor) but I did continue to do back squats. Lots of kettlebell work too. In fact, I remember squatting just several days before delivering my daughter!
How did you know what you were doing for exercise during your pregnancy was ok/safe? Did you ever doubt your decisions? Were you worried during your pregnancy that you were exercising too hard?
I mostly just knew my body. I knew what it could do before pregnancy. My doctor knew I was a big fitness freak and she basically told me that I could continue exercising, just to back off a little. I think she knew I was a smart gal! ;) I never doubted my decisions because I think once you do that, you set yourself up for unnecessary worry. Worry equals stress that the baby doesn't need. If you're unsure of an exercise, don't do it. Stick with what you are comfortable with. But for me, I knew that staying healthy and continuing to move would not only be good for my body and my baby, but also my sanity.
During your pregnancy, did you have any complications such as hypertension or extreme water retention? Please describe why/why not?
I did not have any hypertension or water retention. I was hospitalized with my daughter for 4 days around 20 weeks, but that was because I had caught some type of flu virus in January. Had a fever and the doctors wouldn't release me until my fever broke. Nothing to do with my training.
If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?
Nothing really! I was happy with both fit pregnancies!
How much total weight did you gain during your pregnancy?
With my first, I gained 22 pounds. With my second, 25 pounds.
Did you get any stretch marks? If you didn’t, why do you think this happened? If you did, do you think they could have been prevented? Do you think creams or oils prevent them?
No, I didn't get any stretch marks. I think part of it was because I didn't gain very much weight. And I think part of it was because I continued to workout! I used a little "belly butter" here and there, but nothing consistent enough to contribute it to my lack of stretch marks.
How was your labor and delivery? -- Natural or Assisted? – Long or short? Briefly describe your birth story.
Both my deliveries were induced. And yes, I had an epidural. Upon receiving inducing drugs, I started having contractions a couple hours later. I labored for about 9-10 hours with my first and about 6-7 with my second. Both were very easy deliveries. My first child required about 20 minutes of pushing (maybe 5 good pushes) and my second, about 10 minutes (just a few pushes and done!).
What was the weight/height of babies? APGAR scores?
Daughter: 7lbs. 7oz., 20 inches, 9/9 APGAR
Son: 7lbs, 5oz., 20 inches, I think he was an 8/9, but I'm not certain.
How is the health of your children now?
Both my kids are normal, thriving kids. My daughter is now 4 and my son is 2.5!