Meet 3 BCF first-time moms who didn’t put the barbell down while pregnant, they just modified!
- Kiddo: Max (15mo)
- Years cross fitting prior to pregnancy: 3.5 years, Fx most WODs, some Rx
- Things to note:
- Had a smooth pregnancy and delivery
- Throughout my pregnancy I was able to continue CrossFit, making modifications when necessary
- I was cleared to come back to CrossFit 4 weeks after having Max, which surprised me! My doctor said listen to your body and ease back into things.
- I was amazed at my muscle memory!
- Kiddo: Jackson (9mo)
- Years or CrossFit prior to pregnancy: 3 years, Fx most WODs, some Rx
- Things to note:
- I had major pelvic bone movement during pregnancy
- Had a Murph Birth (went labor the evening of Memorial Day, after doing pregnant lady modified version of a CrossFit “hero” workout named Murph)
- Experienced contractions/Braxton hicks starting 4 days before birth. had a very fast hospital labor – 2.5hrs!
- Had an emergency C-section due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around baby
- Felt post-partum optimism and excitement
- Did not return to BCF for over 10 weeks
- Did a beginner level competition 5 months post-partum (very slowly!) and looking to do an Rx competition in May 2018!
- Kiddo: Harper (7mo)
- Years cross fitting prior to pregnancy: 5 years, Rx most WODs
- Things to note:
- Worked out until the day I went into labor
- I was almost 2 weeks late delivering, Harper took her time
- Lost the majority of my baby weight by the time I came home from the hospital
- Lost quite a bit of muscle and strength, but it is coming back quickly
- Made my way back to BCF at 4 weeks – yoyo’d back into things
- After just a few months, now feeling full strength and capability again in the gym
CrossFitting while pregnant is a very personal journey. As most doctors will tell you, do not start anything new once you are pregnant, that includes CrossFit, but, if you’ve been CrossFitting prior to pregnancy there is no reason not to continue (there are a few exceptions). In fact, for us, BCF was a great home to bond with other pregnant/post-partum moms, get advice, feel encouraged, and feel healthy while pregnant. Now that we are Moms, BCF has been very supportive by modifying movements, encouraging us, and welcoming our little ones into the BCF family! Women have been preg
nant and physically active for thousands of years, the key is to know your body, listen to your body, and do what you think is best – the female body is AMAZING!
What was the highlight of CrossFitting while pregnant/post pregnancy?
- Heather: While pregnant- being able to stay active/keep moving! I really enjoy working out, so being able to work out throughout my pregnancy helped me mentally and physically. Post pregnancy- feeling stronger! While it took a while to get back into a rhythm, I quickly started feeling stronger than I’d felt before pregnancy. I recently did the benchmark workout, “Fran” and beat my previous (pre-baby) time by over one minute!
- EB: Feeling good mentally – I hear a ton about post-partum depression and anxiety, I believe working out while pregnant, and setting goals to get back into BCF helped my mental state immensely!! Other random highlights: still doing double-unders and handstands in my 3rd Trimester – for whatever reason they didn’t bother me. Also, the day I told Head Coach Tucker I was pregnant and he replied “I’ve suspected for a while” probably because I was insanely slow.
- Calli: Getting out of the house and into the gym gives me the sense of freedom, strength, and happiness I need to be a good mom. I love bringing Harper along, anyone and everyone will offer to hold your baby, so if you can’t fly solo, you can always bring your sidekick along; it could be the start of a great bonding opportunity for the two of you!
What was most challenging?
- Heather: The first few months back at the gym were hard for me. First, I wanted to jump right back into things, but obviously my body needed time. It was frustrating when I felt tired or winded from a work out. It was hard finding the time to make it to the gym! I set a goal of 4 times per week. husband and I (coach Justin) created a schedule that would allow us both to make it to the gym without sacrificing too much time away from Max. I quickly realized sleep and the gym beat out TV time!
- EB: C-section recovery sucks! I hated not being able to do anything for 6+ weeks. 4th Trimester is a real thing and was a very difficult time for me physically – harder than CrossFitting while pregnant. It was hard not being consistent – I missed CrossFit & BCF friends. It’s still a difficult balance finding time to WOD and be a mom.
- Calli: There were times when I struggled to show up to a sport that I love because I was too tired, too slow, too uncomfortable, too frustrated, too blah, blah, blah, blah. I would say one of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced as a new mom is finding the time to consistently workout. When I’m not working, I want to spend as much time with Harper as possible… and let me tell you, Mom guilt is the real deal. Unless my baby is sleeping (and sometimes even then) I experience feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, and overall like I’m going to miss some major milestone when I leave her.
What are your current goals?
- Heather: Get to the gym 4 times per week. Keeping track of how many days I make it to the gym each week is a mental motivator for me.
- EB: to get in a routine of working out at least 3 classes/week.
- Calli: To set a goal and accomplish it! Right now I’m just trying to get into the gym and move.
- Heather: Get my ring muscle ups back (which I just accomplished after this was written!)! Before pregnancy I was able to do both bar and ring muscle ups. I got bar muscle ups back relatively quickly (I think because I continued to do pull ups throughout pregnancy), but have struggled with ring muscle ups.
- EB: Rx a competition by Jackson’s 1st Birthday!
What advice would you give to other pregnant Crossfitters?
- Heather: You can always modify a movement. The BCF coaching staff helped immensely with this. The biggest modification I made during pregnancy was shortening my rounds/reps in a workout. Listen to your body! You should be able to have a conversation in between movements. This is how I gauged whether I was pushing myself too hard.
- EB: Tell your coaches early (don’t worry they are good at keeping is a secret) and do research, there are tons of ways to adapt and modify.
- Calli: Just show up and move. Do whatever you feel you can (and your doctor will allow). Listen to your body, but know it is capable of more than you could ever imagine. You’ve helped to create, grow, and have/will birth a human! There will also be days when you feel motivated, determined, capable, and both physically and mentally strong, because you are! My advice on these days, enjoy and crush it!
- Heather: Set reasonable goals for yourself. This helped me stay focused and push through, even when I wanted to quit.
- EB: DO NOT go all out! I see women get competitive while pregnant and it makes me cringe. Your body is doing the biggest WOD of its life – creating a baby!
- Heather: Track your workouts! I tracked everything in an app called MyWOD. This allowed me to see progress during and after pregnancy. I quickly built back my strength, however getting my cardio level back took about 6 months.
- EB: Give yourself grace, it took your body 9 months to make a baby – it will take it 9 months to recover. Don’t expect to be back at CrossFit right away and defiantly don’t expect to be back at your old endurance/strength/skill level.
- Heather: post pregnancy: set a goal to attend the gym 4 days per week, even if it is just to stretch. I gave myself 4-6 weeks to slowly transition back before I “pushed myself.” The BCF coaching staff welcomed me back post baby and continued to help modify movements and workouts those first few weeks back. Movements I didn’t work on during pregnancy like sit-ups, I couldn’t do 4 weeks postpartum, but movements I worked on throughout my pregnancy (pull ups) I could still do!
- Calli: Don’t be so hard on yourself. You need (and deserve) to do things for yourself in order to be the best dang mama you can be which for me includes getting into the gym to throw around some weight … and if all else fails… drink wine!
We are very excited to still be CrossFitting, achieving new goals, and passing the love of exercise onto our babies! If you’re an expecting momma, flag us down – we would love to answer any questions!