Tabby and her husband just welcomed their baby girl at the end of April 2023.
Here is her journey from her experience of training through her first pregnancy.
1- How did training help you along your pregnancy journey?
Tabby: It always helps my mental health to work out. I feel good about my body’s capability, I physically feel better, I feel a sense of accomplishment.
Of course it kept me healthier than if I had stopped which was not only good for me but for the baby. Doing crossfit over the years has given me such confidence in my ability to do things that feel impossible which directly led to my confidence that I can have an unmedicated birth (it isn’t the path for everyone but it is for me).
A lot of the mind games I play to get through a workout (counting down how many reps are left, reminding myself I can do anything for 1, 2, 5 minutes etc) will help me as I get through contractions. I feel like training overall has psychologically prepared me well for birth.
2- I could understand the fear or concerns some could have, training while pregnant.
How or in what ways did you overcome those fears and concerns?
Tabby: Since this is my first pregnancy I wasn’t sure how much I should be pushing or not pushing myself. At first I backed off a bit but then I just couldn’t help myself and decided to push myself in workouts—until I couldn’t anymore.
More on that below:)
I spoke with my doctors who reassured me that I could continue anything I was doing pre pregnancy as long as it felt comfortable and not painful.
3- What changes did you notice in regards to training that occurred for you?
(Ie: month 1-3 no change? Month 3-6 x, and month 7-9 y and z?)
Tabby: Month 1-3- Initially I tried to just do what I had been doing but then I got bored and started pushing myself more. It felt good. It was hard at times just feeling tired, having a headache, nauseous etc but it was good to keep moving.
3-6 I was totally fine until I hit month 5.
Beginning at month 5 I had the frustrating experience of being able to do intense workouts (I even PR’d my deadlift at 5 months!) but then my body COULD NOT recover after a workout.
So I had to force myself to chill out and not do anything that felt even remotely challenging in a workout or my back would be completely out of commission for a week or two.
This was psychologically challenging to refrain from doing things I knew I could do, but that would be harmful in the long run. It was also hard accepting that in this case it wasn’t just “mind over matter” in getting through a workout, my body literally couldn’t take it wheres before I could push myself past my breaking point mentally and still handle it physically.
By month 7 I had a few pregnancy complications combined with having a lot of difficulty just moving around that made it so I couldn’t even scale the workouts.
At this point I’m walking about 3/4 of a mile and doing stretching as that’s all I can physically do even in the moment.
4- What specific benefits do you feel came out of training through your pregnancy for you?
Tabby: The biggest one is the psychological confidence I have in my ability to get through labor.
I also feel like it kept me physically healthy and hopefully the baby as well.