Pregnancy can be an exciting and joyful time - but also, one heck of a confusing one, especially when it comes to exercise. We all know that keeping active is good for both mum and baby, but how much exercise is too much? What about when you don't feel like you can do a thing?
Have no fear - we spoke to Caroline Lucey, founder of ActiveInStyle.com (a Grazia Daily fave for chic sportswear) and mum-to-be, about her tips for a happy, healthy, fit pregnancy...
- Pregnancy yoga is a thing, and you need it
"Yoga truly is excellent. It’s relaxing, great for flexibility and it's kind on your body. If you are still working and have a stressful job, then it’s perfect for unwinding and switching off. Pre-natal yoga focuses a lot more on breathing techniques, relaxation and gentle stretching than normal yoga. It is more about preparing and aiding your body in what it is doing."
- There are unsafe exercises in pregnancy
"High-intensity workouts aren't recommended. You shouldn’t get out of breath so much so that you can’t hold a conversation. When you're pregnant, your heart is already working that much harder to support the growing baby so pushing it even harder is not ideal. Anything which involves lying on your back is not good, as the weight of the baby rests on vital arteries."
- But you don't need to change your exercise routine completely during pregnancy
"The frequency of exercise during pregnancy really depends on how often you worked out before becoming pregnant. If you worked out 4 times a week, then you can do the same amount once you’re pregnant, as long as it’s at a lesser intensity and you take care to listen to your body and not push yourself too much. I work out once a week with a personal trainer and do at least one yoga session a week. I also swim once a week if I can, and other than that I walk a lot."
- Your diet during pregnancy needs to fuel your exercise, too
"You need to ensure you have enough energy, so eat a combination of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates every day. I eat porridge or eggs for breakfast and ensure I have a morning and afternoon snack to keep me going. I love avocados and spinach and am enjoying eating bread, pasta and rice more freely now than I did before getting pregnant."
- It's better to do something, rather than nothing
"If you feel like you cannot do any exercise, knowing that staying active is good for you is a step in the right direction. In my first trimester, when I had no energy and was feeling really sick, I’d go walking. Not far, but just 15 minutes or so would help. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I feel more energetic and I try and walk as much as possible so that I stay active even if I am not doing a workout as such."
- Your body will thank you for your exercise during labour
"Staying flexible and supple helps during childbirth. Exercise also assists with relaxation, and gives you good breathing techniques which are useful when the time comes. Staying active also helps with recovery afterwards!"
- Your pregnancy gym kit needs a switch up
"You're going to need water, and lots of it. It’s easy to become dehydrated during pregnancy so make sure you keep drinking. You'll want a good sports bra too - most girls find that their bust size increases dramatically when pregnant and you need to stay supported while working out."
Check out the best A List pregnancy annoucements in the gallery below...