So I started this blog back in December 2012 when I was (just) pregnant with bub #1. It came from a place of extreme annoyance and frustration with healthcare providers and their mindless mantra of “no exercise during pregnancy”.
I felt SURELY this advice was bullshit? And even if it wasn’t, could I break the rules? Because if I wasn’t allowed to exercise throughout pregnancy, everyone around me was going to be blasted for 9 months with hormone-fired rage. And they would surely die.
Anyway, my original aim was to present the evidence supporting the benefits, nay the necessity, of regular exercise in pregnancy.
Flashback to my very first shiny blog post – it contains the ACOG Guidelines for Exercise in Pregnancy – check it out, because it basically says you can do what exercise you want in pregnancy UNLESS you:
1. Want to engage in certain sports during pregnancy – eg. Contact rugby, horse riding, scuba diving, marathons at altitude, etc;
2. Have certain medical or pregnancy issues – eg. Heart/ lung/ cervix issues, preterm labour risk/ ruptured membranes/ abnormal placenta position/ abnormal blood pressure/ anaemia;
3. Have certain signs during exercise – eg. vaginal fluid or bleeding, dizziness/ fainting, chest pain, headache, muscle weakness, calf pain/swelling, uterine contractions.
MOST women DO NOT have these issues in pregnancy.
In fact, the ACOG recently produced updated guidelines in May 2016 which say pretty much the same thing.
So I figured “Hey, the message is getting out, women are staying fit during pregnancy. People are finally being sensible.” And my warm-fuzzy-save-the-day feeling expanded my heart. 😍
Mais non, this warm fuzzy was not to last.
Case in point – conversation with pregnant lady (PL) (toddler in tow) on the street this morning (100% true):
PL “Hey, I see you have two kids – how did you manage initially?”
Me “Well it’s hard at first, the first few months were bad, I was like “WHAT WAS I THINKING?!” but then it gets better, apart from the chronic sleep deprivation.”
PL “Oh well you must be doing something wrong then, if they’re not both sleeping through the night.”
Aw HELL no, don’t you dare go there.
PL”So do you live around here, in one of these flats?”
PL “Well that’s a bad decision, you can’t have kids in flats… They need to have a big house and garden otherwise their growth will be stunted.”
Ah yes, the commonly forgotten aetiological factor in paediatric growth failure. My apologies.
PL “You look quite fit, how do you manage with two kids, what diet are you on?”
Me “No diet, but I remained fairly active during and after both pregnancies.”
PL “So you actually exercised during pregnancy?”
PL “No way man, unlike you I don’t want to have a miscarriage.”
She abruptly ended our conversation by taking a giant swig from her 1.2L bottle of Coca Cola and telling me “I have to meet my mate at McDonald’s.”
I feel defeated… Defeated by this sedentary, overweight (yes, even accounting for pregnancy), soft-drink-swilling, apartment-hating woman. Sigh.