Fit Pregnancy Interview Series Part 4
Sandra at 37 weeks pregnant
This next fit pregnancy interview is with Sandra Cruz Kennedy, a local fit mommy of two, with the second just 2 months old!
Sandra's experience is interesting in that she didn't exercise much during her first pregnancy, but did quite a bit in her second and found that there were vast differences in her pregnancies.
Read below to hear how Sandra's pregnancies will inspire you to keep fit while building your baby.
On to the interview!
Sandra, 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?
Women should not be scared. Exercising while pregnant was the best thing I could have done for myself and my baby. I was lucky to have supportive doctors. I continually checked in at each appointment and described what I was doing and they encouraged me to continue to exercise. They did caution me to listen to my body and to ensure that I monitored my heart rate during workouts.
How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? What were you doing?
I have a three year old son and a 2 month old daughter. During my first pregnancy I did very little exercise. I had had a miscarriage about three months prior so I was afraid to do – well – anything that could compromise the pregnancy. I gained 40 pounds during that pregnancy. It took me about 18 months to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. Shortly after, a friend told me about a boot camp group - now Tuff Girl Fitness - that met outside. It was love at first push up. Within six months I lost another 12 pounds and became pregnant. At that time, I was attending a 1 hour boot camp class 2 to 3 times a week and running between 5 and 9 miles per week.
When you found out your were pregnant, did you modify your workout routine? How & Why?
I did not modify my routine when I found out, however, I made it a point to really tune into my body. I ran the New Haven Sham Rock and Roll with a bunch of girlfriends at about 7 weeks and none of them knew I was pregnant. I was able to continue running until about 14 weeks. It became uncomfortable so I listened to my body and phased it out. I continued to attend my boot camp classes.
When you first found out you were pregnant what was your primary concern with respect to your exercise routine?
My primary concern was having to stop working out. It took me so long to get back into shape after my first pregnancy – I dreaded starting from ground zero again.
Overall, during your pregnancy, describe what did you do for exercise?
I ran until I was 14 weeks but stopped because I did not enjoy it and felt uncomfortable. I continued to attend boot camp classes 2 to 3 times a week throughout my pregnancy. The workouts consisted of interval training incorporating weights. I also chased after my very active three year old son.
How did other people around you react to your fit pregnancy? Was it positive or negative?
For the most part, people were positive. My family was especially supportive.
What was the most supportive thing someone told you about your fit pregnancy? The most unsupportive?
At 30 weeks, someone told me that I was beautiful and born to be pregnant (I am not entirely certain what that means but it felt good nonetheless).
At about the same time, an elderly women who saw me in workout gear said – I’d better be careful I wouldn’t want to regret being so active.
How was your first trimester, with respect to exercise?
I was tired and nauseous during this time but was able to maintain my workout routines.
I felt great. My boot camp trainer was an amazing resource in terms of giving me modifications when I felt I needed them. I went from using 10 pound to 8 pound weights for my exercises. By the end of the second trimester, I took out a lot of the jumping exercises, for example, jumping jacks and high knees.
I continued to do interval training and light weight lifting. I felt good but the last two weeks before I gave birth my body told me to stop so I did.
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 felt great during my second pregnancy. I monitored my heart rate, continually checked in with my doctors, and listened to my intuition. I did not push myself the way I would if I was not pregnant. I never doubted my decisions and I was never worried I was exercising too hard.
During your pregnancy, did you have any complications such as hypertension or extreme water retention?
I had no complications during this second pregnancy. I had very little water retention even in the days before I went into labor.
If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?
I wouldn’t change anything.
How much total weight did you gain during your most recent pregnancy?
I gained 31 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?
I did not get any stretch marks. I drank A LOT of water. I did not use any special creams or oils. I am not sure that stretch marks can be prevented.
How was your labor and delivery? -- Natural or Assisted? – Long or short? Briefly describe your birth story.
My first labor laws assisted, lasted 16 hours and I pushed for 2.5 hours. My second labor was assisted, 6 hours and I pushed for 45 minutes. I began having contractions at 2:45 a.m. Back labor began at about 4 a.m. My husband was in a rush to get to the hospital but I was afraid of being sent home so we stayed at home until 6:30 a.m. By then the pain was excruciating. I asked for an epidural at 7 a.m. and received it at 8:30 a.m. Everything progressed very rapidly and by 9 a.m. I was ready to begin pushing and 45 minutes my beautiful daughter was born. I felt so much stronger than I did the first time. I seemed like every push was much more productive.
What was the weight/height of baby? APGAR scores?
She was 7 pounds and 20 inches. I do not recall her APGAR scores but I do remember that she scored the highest possible in each category.
How is your baby now? Health? Sleeping and Eating Habits? Disposition?
My daughter is a very happy healthy 2 month old. She has gained weight appropriately and we are working on sleeping through the night.
How much of your weight gain have you lost since having your baby (two months ago)? How long did it take?
I have 8 pounds to lose to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have been amazed with my body’s ability to bounce back. At 6 weeks (after being cleared by my doctor), I attended 2 boot camp classes and jogged 1.5 miles. The following week I attended 2 classes and jogged 2.5 miles. The third week I attended 2 classes and jogged 3.5 miles. I feel great! It does not hurt to run and exercise the way it did when I tried to exercise after my first pregnancy. I have no doubt that the reason is because I kept exercising throughout my second pregnancy.
How do you feel about your body now?
I feel pretty good considering it has only been 8 weeks. I keep reminding myself that Rome was built in a day and that with hard work I will be back to where I was.
What advice would you give other women who want to have a fit pregnancy?
Keep exercising! Try to get yourself in shape before becoming pregnant so that you can continue to exercise once you become pregnant. If you are already pregnant, try to maintain your routine – whatever that is - from the beginning. Listen to your body and check in with your doctor.
Thank you for your time!