My name is Melanie and I have been doing Crossfit for over 3 years. I am also a Level 1 trainer and an assistant coach at our box. I am 38 years old and due with my first baby on the 14th of November.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated by the news! But like any first time mom, I was a little nervous. Not that I was expecting to qualify for Regionals but we were just starting Open Sectionals at the time I found out. So many questions go through your head like, how much do I have to slow down? Can I still continue to lift the weights that I have been and not feel strained? Will people notice if I slow down? I knew that there were several other girls who did CrossFit through their pregnancies which was reassuring but every pregnancy is different and so is everyone’s skill level with CrossFit so I found it hard to compare myself to even them.
What I knew for sure is that I wanted to stay active during my pregnancy. When I first talked to my doctor about becoming pregnant, I told her about CrossFit and when asked about exercising during pregnancy she told me this exact sentence, “when I say exercise during pregnancy, I mean taking a walk around the block”. So needless to say I was very disappointed. When my first pre-natal appointment took place at 8 weeks, my doctor surprisingly brought it up and asked me if I was still doing Crossfit. She said she wrote it down because she was so impressed by what I was doing. I told her that I was indeed still going but I was toning things down. Perhaps time allowed her to think more about it and do her own research because she gave me her blessing and told me to not go crazy, to listen to my body and since I had been doing this for a while; my body was used to this level of activity. I felt a huge sense of relief after that.
The key message I have followed throughout my pregnancy is that I continue to listen to my body. I am in that box for me AND my baby, and nobody else. I want to get in a good workout but I go in with no expectations knowing that I have to tone down the intensity. Because I have been pregnant through the summer months, I drink LOTS of water, work-out near a fan, rest when I need to and am careful to not get too out of breath or overheat. I have also scaled the length of workouts on those super-hot days. I scale other movements by using common sense and when that little voice would tell me I should scale to an alternative exercise instead. For example, when I was still able to, I did toes to bar instead of GHD sit ups, I stopped doing HSPU and did push press instead, I did step-ups instead of box jumps and when my bladder finally had enough torture, I switched to rowing instead of running. The beauty of CrossFit is that there is a scale for everything. One thing that has surprised me the most is how my strength has gone up exponentially. Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT trying to hit PR’s on every strength day. As with any WOD, I set goals for myself, pay close attention to my form, pay attention to how I am feeling throughout and go from there. If my body feels ok, I continue until I hit a point where it is challenging but I am not struggling or straining in any way. I stop when I would normally try for one more set but do not push myself further because I am happy with the progress I made.
Overall, my goals have been different and I approach my work-outs with a different frame of mind. So many people strive for that Rx and right now, I could care less. The Rx will be there waiting for me in a few months! I have truly been lucky and I credit my healthy pregnancy to doing Crossfit. It actually makes my body feel better than sitting home, resting on the couch and has allowed me to maintain a level of energy that is often lost during pregnancy.
PR’s during pregnancy:
Hang clean 115# (pre-pregnancy 110#)
Clean 120# (pre-pregnancy 115#)
Clean and Jerk 120# (pre-pregnancy 115#)
Split Jerk 145# (pre-pregnancy 125#)
Shoulder Press 102.5# (pre-pregnancy 90#)
Snatch 100# (pre-pregnancy 85#)
Back Squat 170# (pre-pregnancy 150#)
Post pregnancy note:
I gave birth via c-section to a healthy baby girl on Halloween, exactly 2 weeks early. My last workout was the Saturday before and even then, I felt great. I was bummed about the c-section only because of the recovery time. The c-section definitely affected my overall condition and I wasn’t able to start working out as quickly as I had hoped. Even so, I did lose the baby weight very fast and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight (by 2#) in less than a month. I feel refreshed at this point and feel that I am not at square 1, but am at a new baseline. I will have to work hard to not compare myself to before but I will try to remember to celebrate the progress that I make now. Eventually, I hope to build back my core and my strength and rebuild my lungs. It has been an amazing journey becoming a mother. One of my fondest memories will be the workouts, the competitions and the support that I received through CrossFit and our community at KOP!