33 Weeks Pregnant; My Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Today marks the day that I’m 33 weeks and four days pregnant. Yes I feel HUGE, and yes I’m still working out. Granted there are days where I would rather say in bed (usually after a rubbish nights sleep with sore hips!) but nine days out of 10, I’m up, dressed and out the door by 8am for an hour’s workout.

My workouts have definitely relaxed a little. I’m mainly doing low impact cardio on the cross-trainer or bike and bodyweight exercises, after all with all the extra weight I’m carrying, I’m still placing a huge demand on my muscles so they’re ultimately getting stronger without the need for dumbbells.

I’ve also had to cut out things like lunges and one legged exercises as my pelvis was getting sore, and I was worried I’d get Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain, which is pain in the front or the back of the pelvis, buttocks, groin and/or radiating into the thighs, and caused by the extra pressure on the pelvis, due to additional weight of growing baby and of course the dramatic changes in posture. I can still do lots of squats though so I’m ok with that 🙂

Now with all these workouts, there are a few fitness essentials that I just COULDN’T live with out at the moment, so here they are. I hope they help you too!

Mama Mio’s 9 Month Stretch Kit by Tracy Anderson
Now I’m not usually a fan of Tracy BUT she has had two children and looks fantastic. There aren’t many fitness experts that have documented their pregnancy for others to see and follow, so for that reason I actually like this DVD – she’s obviously been there and done it. There is a DVD and workout for each Trimester plus the Boob Tube 
Bust firming cream and Tummy Rub Butter 
are two of my fav products! The bust firming cream made such a difference in a matter of days – they definitely felt smoother and firmer! A great package to see you through your pregnancy.
£102.50; http://www.mamamio.com/uk/the-9-month-stretch-kit.html

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REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer
As my body is changing by the day, there are days where I’ve just felt far too body conscious to go to the gym and wanted to hide away (I know!)
Although I usually love the gym environment, my REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer has come to the rescue for those days where I’ve just wanted to stay at home but still work up a sweat. It has 32 levels of electronic resistance, which means you can modify the intensity of your workout to suit your needs, plus their are 12 pre-set programmes, a distance and heart rate monitor.
I know this is an expensive piece of kit but there was a method to my madness. I thought it would be ideal for when the baby is here and for when I am able to exercise again after my 6-week checkup. When she is sleeping, then I have no excuse not to get a mini workout in. I can jump on it without leaving the house plus pop the TV on whilst doing it and catch up with Sky+ to distract me.
£599; REEBOK ZR10 Cross Trainer

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Shock Absorber Sports Bra
Need I say more? Your breast shape changes dramatically when pregnancy so it’s vital you support them to avoid back pain and sagging! What’s more, recent research from Shock Absorber has found that over a third of exercisers (35%) are still not wearing a sports bra despite two thirds (65%) admitting they frequently experience breast bounce when exercising. Pregnant or not. if you are exercising then you should be wearing a sports bra!
£31; shockabsorber.co.uk

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FittaMamma High Support Top
I
t’s tempting to live in black when you’re pregnant which is why I love my Hot Pink FittaMamma high support sports top. 
It boosts an unique back panel spreads the weight of your baby onto your back and shoulders (like a quality sports bra!) whilst strong elastane content hugs your bump to help you feel lighter and more comfortable. It also has a built in sports bra and a firm waistband that feels super-secure around your hips. When I wear mine, I feel well and truly held in!
£49.99; www.fittamamma.com

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The Perfect Pregnancy Diet

Pregnancy is NOT the time to diet. It’s not the time to eat for three either. Eating for two is fine but your diet needs to be rich in whole foods rich in nutrients to create a healthy balanced plan to nourish you and your baby.

But what should you eat and how much? It’s easy to get it wrong, which is why I signed up for the Doll Curves Perfect Pregnancy Plan, especially as I hit my last trimester – the all important one, when my baby is growing bigger and getting ready to face the big wide world.

Founded by Celebrity Personal Trainers and Fitness Models, Sarah McLean and Lydia Rees, my Doll Curves plan gives me weekly nutrition advice to keep me healthy and well during my last trimester. It also reminds me that I only need to eat an extra 200 calories a day – the equivalent to a large banana!

Here is a round-up of what I’ve been eating over the last week and why it’s so good for me…

Breakfast

Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Blend ¼ gluten free oats, ½ cup of CO YO coconut yogurt, 1 banana, ½ cup Kara coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
The benefits; Bananas are great at reducing fluid retention and swollen ankles – a common side effect in pregnancy. ‘They are also rich in potassium and the perfect energy booster,’ says Sarah.

Snack
120g Unsweetened Greek yogurt with blueberries
The benefits; Yogurt is full of ‘good bacteria’, which helps balance the good/bad bacteria within the body. ‘Yogurt is also rich in protein and calcium, which is good for you and baby’s growing bones,’ says Sarah.

Lunch
Annabel Karmel’s Chicken Pitta Pockets 
Chicken, ½ avocado and watercress pitta pockets with chopped tomatoes and a side salad.
The benefits; Avocados are loaded with folic acid, vital for forming your baby’s brain and nervous system, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which can help your baby’s tissue and brain grow. Watercress can also help aid digestion, while the protein in chicken will help every cell in your baby’s body to grow and develop.

Snack
Hummus on organic unsalted rice cakes with chopped vegetables and 20g unsalted almonds, brazil nuts or walnuts.
The benefits; Raw vegetables will keep your immune system strong and the unsalted rice cakes with hummus are a great source of slow release carbohydrates and protein.

Dinner
50g wild rice with ½ cup streamed green vegetable and Annabel Karmel Salmon with tomato salsa
The benefits; ‘Wild rice is rich in fibre and has an excellent effect on the gut wall,’ says Sarah. News has it that women who eat oily fish, like salmon during pregnancy are also more likely to have brainy and sociable children. Just make sure you don’t have it more than twice a week.

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Have you booked your Babymoon yet?

I was recently lucky enough to go on my babymoon. At 26 weeks I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get some sunshine and relaxation before the airlines ban me from flying. I find flying uncomfortable at the best of times, let alone with a bump and already swollen ankles.
Me and my hubby booked the seven-night Babymoon package  at the Kempinski Hotel in Barbaros Bay, Turkey. Knowing it was my babymoon, I was really expecting to be surrounded by other pregnant women, enjoying the same package as us. We wasn’t. I was the only pregnant lady there (I think) and we were truly looked after. 

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In between relaxing around the pool and paddling our feet in the turquoise Aegean Sea, I had a treatment every day, ranging from a 50-minute pregnancy massage to a 80-minute facial in their exclusive spa.

Daddy-to-be had a few massages thrown in too, to help relief his tired body, and give him some much-deserved TLC after looking after me for the last six months.

I also had a wonderful new treatment called Watsu. Now I’ve been to a few spas in my time, but never heard of this, which is a holistic therapy, that immerses the body in warm water and allows the water to gently stretch the joints. It’s hard to imagine, but you basically tie mini floats around your legs and let your therapist gently rock you and twist and turn you as the water supports your body, while stretching out your limbs.

The idea is that the warm water (about 92 to 94 degrees) relaxes your muscles whilst you floating in the water takes pressure off of the vertebrae and your joints and so they can be manipulated easily and any aches and pains can be soothed and relieved. It was a very relaxing treatment, although I did find it hard to let go at first and let my therapist swoosh me around in the water. It lasted 50 minutes and by the end I felt weightless and totally away with the fairies. I would most certainly like to try it again.

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So would I recommend that you go on a babymoon before your little one arrives? Absolutely! Apart from coming back with a renewed sense of energy, I have a glowing tan to match my glowing and growing bump, I feel totally prepared and excited to face my third trimester and I’ve had a chance to read a few books that have helped prepare me better for my pregnancy and labour (Like Effective Birth Preparation by Maggie Howell and Your Pregnancy Companion by Zita West, to name a few.)

Me and my husband have also totally reconnected and talked lots about what’s to come, whilst spending some quality time together without work and nursery decorating getting in the way.

 

My First Trimester Workout

Although, I’m in my second trimester now, I’m aware that I never shared my workout with you during my first Trimester.

Now, this was a strange time for me because some days I woke up incredibly tired and sick that I had to say in bed, and other days I just thought, do you know what the gym will probably make me feel better. Mostly it did, but there was times when I caught myself running to the toilets mid-workout, esecaily if my blood sugar levels got too low. The trick was to eat before my morning workouts – which I have never done in my life, but this definately helped the sickness.

Warm up
I always warmed up with;

Glute bridges with knee squeeze to engage my glutes, inner thighs and core.
x 15 reps
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Bird dogs to engage my core and back.
x 20
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Potty Squats to work my thighs, glutes, hamstrings, core and upper back
x 20 reps
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I then moved on to my main workout which consisted of an upper body and lower body circuit.

Lower body (I love working my lower body) was; 
Resistance band Tube Walking
X 60 seconds (10 to the right, then switch to the left)
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Exercise Ball Squats with inner thigh squeeze
x 60 seconds
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Walking Lunges
x 60 seconds
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I did this lower body circuit three times before moving onto my upper body circuit.

Box Press Ups
x 15 reps
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Single Arm Rows
x 15 each arm
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Lateral Raises
x 15
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Again I did this circuit three times before doing 20 minutes of uphill walking or cardio on the bike or cross trainer.

To finish my workout I did Side planks x 30 seconds on each side with a leg raise. 
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Before embarking on any fitness plan during pregnancy PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget to get the all clear from your doctor and midwife, drink enough water, make sure you don’t over-heat and don’t let your heart rate go too high. You should be able to hold a conversation comfortably!

Using my qualifications, I can also help devise a workout to meet your goals. These moves suit my body and I have been woking out for years, and years. What ever you do, listen to your body and don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable!

 

Babymoon Time

This month Health & Fitness Magazine have featured one of my travel write ups on Babymoons – like honeymoons – but for couples who are expecting.

It’s a great time to get some last-minute pampering before the midnight feeds and sleep deprivation kicks in, so please find a PDF of the feature. I’ll be going to Mermaid Maternity Retreat in September and also Turkey in October (I’ll be around 25 weeks and no doubt in some serious need of some R&R), so I’ll let you know my thoughts…

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…Pegnancy is an exciting time, but it can be slightly daunting too, especially if it’s your first. Now, thanks to a new breed of holidays designed for busy, expectant parents, you and your partner can squeeze in one last therapeutic break before your little bundle of joy makes an appearance.

Also known as babymoons, these holidays are designed to give mums-to- be and couples a final bit of indulgence before baby is born. Think massages, pre-natal yoga, birth preparation classes, manicures and pedicures. Whether you want to stay in the UK or travel further afield, the babymoon is designed to pamper you and prepare you for parenthood. Here’s our pick of the best.

Kempinski Hotel, Barbaros Bay, Bodrum, Turkey
Enjoy romantic date nights on the Kempinski Babymoon Package, where you and your partner can spend time soaking up the Turkish sunshine. The seven-night stay includes six different treatments for the expectant mum, including a soothing facial and nurturing pregnancy massage, an olive oil and salt body polish and a 25-minute foot recovery treatment, plus there’s a holistic massage for dad-to-be. You can also immerse yourselves in private yoga sessions, breathing exercise sessions and water aerobics classes.

Perched on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Barbaros Bay, you can also indulge in romantic meals in one of four restaurants before retiring to your stunning, sea-view room. Gorgeous!

Price: From €1,340 for seven nights for double occupancy.
Contact: kempinski.com

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily
If want to continue your fitness regime with your bump, this three-night holiday at the luxury Verdura Golf & Spa Resort won’t disappoint.

Set on the south coast of Sicily, Verdura boasts two, 18-hole championship golf courses and one nine-hole course; six tennis courts; a full- size football pitch; a 60m infinity swimming pool; a fully-equipped gym, plus running trails that meander through olive and lemon
groves. The package includes a spa treatment of your choice, and a candle-lit three-course meal at the à la carte restaurant, so you
can wind-down after an active day in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Price: Rooms start at £1,023 for three nights. Contact: Visit luxefamilytravel.com or call
020 8144 3939.

Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Keswick
If work and baby preparation is beginning to take its toll, and you’re in need of a bit of ‘you’ time, chill out in the Lake District with the de-stressing Armathwaite Hall Precious Moments Babymoon Spa Break, and let the stunning location and tranquil lake views work their magic.

A two-night stay at this traditional country house hotel will restore your energy and inner calm, thanks to the 60-minute New Life massage and relaxing spa facilities, including an infinity pool, outdoor hot tub, hush tranquility room and stretch classes. And if the weather turns chilly, snuggle up by a cosy log fire. Bliss! Price: £600 per room for two nights. Contact: Visit armathwaite-hall.com or call 01768 776551.

Essential Escapes, Almyra, Cyprus
When you’re pregnant, it is easy to forget about yourself; you’re so busy getting ready for motherhood, you neglect the all-important task of looking after number one. If you need to

get away from it all, and find some time to rejuvenate, take a short trip Cyprus and let this tranquil hotel help you find some balance and a deep sense of inner peace.

The three-night Nurturing Mum-To-Be Package includes a 90-minute massage designed to ease aches and pains, alleviate fluid retention and increase blood circulation;
a Mandarin Vanilla Manicure and Deep Sea Oxygen Facial, plus a soothing foot treatment. Outdoor yoga sessions and as many strolls on

the white sands of Paphos beach as you can possibly manage, are also thrown in. Price: From £1,670 or £1,060 for sole occupancy. Contact: essentialescapes. com or call 020 7284 3344

Mermaid Maternity Retreat, London
Based in London’s Chelsea, this non-medical maternity retreat provides all-round support to pregnant women and their families.

Nutritionists can offer advice on supplements so your growing bump gets off to a healthy start,
mid-wives are on hand to answer any concerns you may have about getting the hang of nappy changing or the potential complications of breast feeding, while holistic therapists including acupuncturists, osteopaths and reflexologists ensure you’re in optimal health throughout your pregnancy.

And if it’s the period after the birth that concerns you, you can stay after you’ve had the baby, too, to support your recovery post-delivery, and provide guidance and advice on settling and bonding with your new baby. Price: From £595 per night.
Contact: mermaid.co.uk or call 020 7199 3220.

Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Cotswolds
If your pregnancy’s too advanced for plane travel, or you’d rather stay closer to home, head to Whatley Manor. This luxury hotel tucked away in the rolling Cotswolds offers a Half-Day Mother-To-Be Spa Experience, where you can enjoy extensive spa facilities along with a 60-minute Ila pregnancy treatment. There’s a hydrotherapy pool, tepidarium, relaxing wave sensory room and salt scrub showers.

If you have a bit more time, make a weekend of it and stay a few nights to make the most
of the cinema, beautifully manicured gardens and two-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Dining Room. A real treat!

Price: £105 for Mother-To-Be Half Day Spa Experience and from £305 per room B&B. Contact: whatleymanor.com or call 01666 822888.

 

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Pregnancy Yoga

Tonight I’m off to my first pregnancy yoga class as recommended by the lovely Tegan Haining at Bodyism. She suggested it would be a good way to connect with my body and baby and help stretch out any kinks caused by my growing bump, so I listened and I’m all signed up and ready to go.

The class is especially aimed for pregnant women, which can help correct any posture problems as well as help to boost circulation and help with fluid retention. I’m also hoping it will help me to relax a little and concentrate on my breathing.

Here are a few key pieces of kit that I will be taking and wearing to my first yoga class. I’ve been to a few in the past so I’m hoping that I will make these a regular thing and meet some other expecting mums in the area too.

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My TLC Sport Figure Firming Leggings 

These leggings are super supportive and not see through in any way – which is great for the person doing yoga behind me! They also have a flattering fold down waist band which supports and moves with my ickle bump and isn’t restrictive in any way. (www.tlcsport.co.uk)

My Liforme Yoga Mat
This well cushioned, ultra grippy yoga mat is a few inches wider and longer than regular yoga mats making it handy for us women carrying a few extra pounds. It’s also PVC-free so it doesn’t contain any nasty ‘heavy metals’ and has markings on it so you can check your alignment during your poses.

I will of course also be armed with a big water bottle to keep me hydrated throughout the session, a towel and a piece of fruit incase I need to raise my blood sugar levels during or after the class.

I’ll give you a full verdict of the class soon – has anyone else tried yoga when pregnant?

 

Pre and Post Natal Fitness Qualification

Image As you may or may not know I am already a Level 3 NASM Personal Trainer but I don’t feel i have the knowledge or confidence to train myself or other ladies who may be expecting. I know the odd things like not to overheat when exercising, to avoid lying flat on your back after the first trimester (this position puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which will reduce blood to your heart and may diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus, making you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated) and to slow down if you can’t comfortably carry on a conversation, but these are just the basics right? If I want to carry on exercising safely and advising others then I need to know more, which is why I enrolled on Premier Training International’s Level 3 Award in pre and post natal exercise programmes.

The course is mainly online, with a weekend workshop in the middle and then an on-going case study that you need to do before you are awarded with the qualification.

I’ve already done the first module and learnt so much already, which I can’t wait to share with you all.

Over the course of the next few months I will be writing about some of the things I learnt, which will hopefully help you and your friends. Some of it is fascinating. I love learning about the human body – It really is a clever machine!

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First point of call – KX to the rescue

My first point of call was to see Gideon Remfry at KX gym in Chelsea.

He slashed my gym routine no end. No more training twice a day, no more running 26 miles a week and no more hammering my adrenal glands to the inch of their life. It was scary, but I knew it had to be done.

He also recommended I take KX daily supplements for one month, which feature a multivitamin and mineral for AM alongside CoQ10 and then an Omega-3 fish oil and Antoxidant for after lunch.

The handy packaging of the supps, made them super easy to carry around with me every day – no jiggling pill pots or no heavy packets. All I simply had to do was pull one side and out the other side pop the supplements, each clearly labelled so I knew exactly what I was taking and why. Clever eh?

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When You’re Too Fit To Get Fat

18 months ago, I was in the best shape of my life.

I was working out six times a week – sometimes twice a day, eating a VERY clean diet of green veg, protein and more green veg and taking so many supplements I was rattling.

My confidence levels were at an all time high, but my body was screaming for me to stop!

At 8% body fat and 55kg (I’m 5ft 2), I struggled with my energy levels but most importantly my body stopped working. It was using so much energy on my workouts and keeping my organs working that it stopped focusing on my reproductive system, which stopped my periods and ultimately left me infertile for over 14 months.

At first I thought – it’s fine. I’m lean, clean and healthy, it’s just because I came off the pill and my body is still trying to get itself back into balance. It wasn’t until I got married and me and the hubby started thinkingabout children, that I realised I had severely damaged my body and was infertile. How did this happen and how did I let it get this far?

Here is my journey to recovery. If I can do it, anyone can, you just need to know how…..

Body fat