39 Weeks Pregnant – Tracy Anderson Workout

Since hitting 39 weeks pregnant I’ve been a bit reluctant to go to the gym. Not only do I feel a bit self-conscious (lots of people like to comment on how big you look) but its starting to feel like hard work. My bump probably weighs a good stone (maybe more) and the shape of it just makes things more difficult. That’s not to say I’m sitting around with my feet up. No way. I’m working out at home instead in my own space, in my own time with my phone on hand. Come on baby 🙂

My usual gym routine has now been swapped for a daily hours walk – which is about 3-4 miles and Tracy Anderson‘s workout DVD called The Pregnancy Project.

The Pregnancy Project contains nine discs, one for each month of pregnancy. Tracy, personal trainer to Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez focuses upon strength and flexibility especially in the arms, back, legs, and backside.

This is the first month I have used her DVD, so I’ve really enjoyed it so far – although I think doing it for the whole nine months would get pretty repetitive, despite the multiple discs. Tracy is also pregnant in this series, too, which means she’s on the same wavelength as you and not her usual toned and tiny self.

I really enjoy the arm series which gives you a serious arm burn without getting the heart rate too high and the legs and bottom exercises on your hands and knees feel really nice on your lower back – being in this position takes any pressure off the back and lets your uterus just hang.

I must admit its a far cry from my usual gym routine – even when I have been pregnant and taking it ‘easier’ so I found myself missing out some of the moves that didn’t feel good on my body and did squats or tube walking instead. I really appreciated the softer side of the workout though – it’s good that I’m listening to my body yet still keeping active.

Just a few days now hopefully. I am missing the gym, yes. BUT I feel it’s time to start taking it easier and conserve my energy for will probably be the biggest challenge of my life.

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Pregnancy Reflexology – the Wonderful Keah Lan

 

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I’d never really considered Reflexology until I met the wonderful Keah Lan, a highly qualified wellbeing therapist and reflexologist. She was at The Mermaid Maternity Retreat press opening day way back in June, when I was just 15 weeks pregnant. There she gave me a 20 minute taster reflexology session, which just simply wasn’t long enough! I wanted longer – she was fab! The things she could tell from my feet were amazing and the treatment itself was really relaxing.

Since meeting her, we have kept in touch on Twitter and she told me to come and see her when I was in the later stage of my pregnancy and ready to help prepare my body for labor. At 37 weeks, I’m more than ready, so I went and saw her, again at the Mermaid Maternity Retreat, which is based on the Kings Road. 

Before our hour-long session, Keah explained that she would massage certain areas on my feet to help stimulate pregnancy and labor organs and help boost my energy flow. Some of these points that she would be working on can help stimulate contractions, ease any aches and pains as well as release oxytocin, a natural hormone that is responsible for again stimulating contractions and labor. Keah specialises in reflexology for fertility, labor and the postnatal period, so I knew I was in good hands. 

The whole treatment was really relaxing. Yes, there was so sore points on my feet, especially the areas that related back to my lower back (I’ve been having lower back pain – the weight in my front feels like it’s pulling my back out of balance), my digestive system (I’ve been feeling quite sick recently – almost like I’m in the first trimester again!) and also the uterus zone, which is located near your ankle bone, and needs to be loosened slightly to help relax and of course stimulate labor. But although these were slightly tender I just practised my deep breathing (thank you Pregnancy yoga classes!) and went with the flow. 

After a good hour of TLC, Keah finished with a neck and shoulder massage and told me to get on with my day as normal but take it easy. She also mentioned that another session later on in the week would be beneficial. I did relax and met my mum for a herbal tea who was really worried and kept asking me if I was going into labor. Of course I  explained that if the baby is not ready to come, the it won’t – however, there ARE certain pressure points that can be worked on to encourage or ‘prime’ your body ready for labour. Reflexology is unlikely to start labour there and then, but Keah has found that a few of her clients have naturally gone into labour within a next few days after her treatment – pretty impressive eh!? 

I’m excited to see what happens over the next few days – will I get some Braxton Hicks? Will my back pain continue to behave itself? I hope so! 

Keah also gave me some exercises to do to help my back and open my hips like the;

* Cat Stretch – which helps stretch the lower back
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* Pigeon Pose – which helps stretch the hips and thighs
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and
* The Sitting Squat pose – which again helps open up the hips and relaxes the lower back.  
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I’m going to do these everyday as well as continue to do lots of walking and my daily gym workout. You may not feel like exercising when pregnant BUT it does help open up the hips and relax the pelvic muscles. It also gets those endorphins flowing, the calming and pain-relieving hormones that can be vital during labor. 

I’ll let you know how Thursday goes at my next session 🙂 

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