Each Thursday and Sunday, I join a special group of mamas-to-be as we celebrate the week's accomplishments and help each other through the challenges. From crowd-sourcing the best belly bands to talking about the less "Instagramable" aspects of labor and delivery, the FIT4BABY Prenatal Fitness Class mothers support each other as the weeks roll towards the most momentous occasion of our lives... welcoming our new babies.
Oh, and we sweat, too! An amazing instructor leads us through cardio, strength, and core moves, with plenty of space for modifications and honoring the body that we showed up with today. Not only is it important to keep exercising during pregnancy if you were active before, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recognizes that prenatal exercise is so beneficial you should build it into your routine even if you weren't active pre-pregnancy.
My journey to the FIT4BABY class began nearly two and a half years ago. I joined FIT4MOM via the 8-week Body Back Transformation Session when my first son was three years old. I had never exercised with any sort of regularity before in my life, and I jumped in with both feet. FIT4MOM classes gave me time to "put myself back on the list”, get stronger than ever before, and occasionally skip out of the bedtime routine, ha! When I became pregnant after several years of struggling with infertility, I was excited, but nervous, to switch over to the FIT4BABY side of things.
What would exercising while pregnant be like? Would I connect with the women who were further along in their pregnancies? Would I enjoy changing the pace of my now-beloved workouts?
In fact, the FIT4BABY workouts almost seem like a bonus to the friendships and support, not unlike the rest of the FIT4MOM offerings. The guideline while doing prenatal exercise is to keep exertion below the point of breathlessness. This means that there’s a lot of time for chatting, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t be sweaty or even a bit sore! Our instructors keep each class interesting with different cardio, strength, and core moves, and we end each class with a peaceful meditation.
The mamas-to-be you’ll meet in FIT4BABY span every personality and experience you could imagine, from the new mommy, to the mommy-of-4-and-counting. From the moms who are parenting in two different universes - whose bravery rocks me to the core, to the moms whose dreams of a meeting their first child grow stronger each week, and with every tiny kick. Like all FIT4MOM classes that I’ve experienced, FIT4BABY is a judgement-free zone. Planning to breastfeed? Cool! Planning to get an epidural and #allthedrugs? Great (me, too)! Planning to give birth at home? Wonderful! Planning to keep all your plans to yourself and just soak it all in? Totally fine!
One of the most joyous aspects of FIT4BABY is, of course, the babies! Every few weeks, someone from the group branches off to be superwoman and bring a new little person into the world. Leading up to due dates, the hot topic of conversation inevitably becomes ways to induce labor… hit us up for a mythical eggplant parmesan recipe! You might also notice an uptick in squats (cough, thanks Emma, cough). We catch up and celebrate births at the very end of each 8-week session with a fun mocktail party, babies included!
I’m excited to see how this wellness journey with FIT4MOM and FIT4BABY impacts my labor, delivery, and recovery. In the six years since my first pregnancy, I’d like to think I’ve grown a bit wiser about what it takes for me to be a good mom. Putting my health, sanity, and strength at the top of my to-do list is one of the best thing that I can do for my son, soon to be plural!
The next FIT4BABY Prenatal Session runs from July 7th – August 29th, with classes on Thursdays at 7:30pm in Carrboro and Sundays at 9am in Chapel Hill. (You can join a full session or drop-in to any class that is convenient for you by purchasing a class pass! Join us at any point during your pregnancy!)
I hope to meet you at a FIT4BABY class, at least for the next 8 weeks... my countdown is officially on!