Health & Exercise

Crazy Fitness People & Natural Birth?

Hi All!

Anyone crazy like me into fitness -- done 2 rounds of P90X and Insantiy... ran a half marathon last Fall -- and planning (or already had) a natural birth? Did any of your training prepare you? Do you think it did a little bit at least?

Any suggestions? Of course a little nervous about the natural thing but I'm determined to give it my best effort!

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Re: Crazy Fitness People & Natural Birth?

  • I am not as intense with exercise as you are, but live a very active lifestyle and workout 6 days a week. I totally believed it helped with my endurance during labor. Plus the attitude you have when working out (just 5 more push ups, only 1 more mile, etc.) can be helpful (just 5 more seconds of pushing, just one more centimeter to go, etc). It can only help you IMO. Good luck :)
    Larry photo: Larry Sneaky touches gifLarrysneakytouch.gif 
    DS born 3.12 
    DD born 7.14
  • I am a crazy fitness person! I coach and do CrossFit, before I found out I was pregnant I was Crossfitting 5-6x a week. CrossFit is High Intensity, and because they say not to get overheated, and to the point where you can't have a conversation, I have dialed down a little bit and CrossFit 3x a week. I am also so completely paranoid I am going to do something wrong... stupid I know. 

    As a fitness professional being healthy and active is only going to be beneficial for you an the baby both in body and mind. My hat is off to you for trying  a natural birth, you can do it, the mind is a powerful tool!


  • I'm not as crazy as you but I definitely stay in shape, running Pilates, yoga, etc. I have had two natural births and definitely think my fitness level and mentality going into it helped. After I delivered my first and climbed out of bed and walked myself to the bathroom soon after, (which was an awesome feeling) the male nurse asked me if I was a runner...said he mostly had seen runners labor that way. 

     Either way I think it's great to prepare for birth like another endurance/athletic event!  It really helps push through mentally during the hard parts, you can definitely do it! 

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  • I'm a crazy fitness person (ran through both pregnancies, lots of 1/2 and full marathons), wanted to deliver naturally but ended up with a c-section and repeat.  I labored for a long time with my first and didn't think there was any correlation to fitness and natural delivery.  My c-section recoveries were both VERY easy so that may have been because I was in great shape.  
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  • I was really hoping for a natural birth with DS, but he came surprisingly early and fast. DH was out of town, so both of my parents and sister were in the delivery room with me.  My mom (who I love) was driving me bananas, so I was having a hard time staying relaxed and caved for the epidural!  I got it less than 1 hour before DS was actually born though, so I don't think it affected my progress very much at all.  I was only 4cm when I got it and thought I had hours ahead of me, but I became fully dilated really quickly once he turned his head in the proper direction for delivery. 

    Anyway, I ran regularly up to the day I went into labor and felt great the entire time.  My labor was very short and relatively easy.  DS popped out without a tear after only a few pushes.  My uterus shrunk really fast, and I was running again within 3 weeks.  The nurses were all impressed and said there would be a lot more babies being born if every had a birth as easy as I did.  I count myself very lucky and am praying my next little guy comes as easily.  I am definitely going to keep running through this pregnancy because I really think it made a difference.  Best of luck to you!

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  • I was a nationally ranked lifter before having DS...  And was competitive lifting until 2/3 of the way through my PG.. 

    IMO, the most important thing you can bring to L&D is an open mind with ZERO expectations.  I white knuckled wanting to go unmedicated with DD and ended up needing enough medication to sedate a horse to get the pain both during and after delivery managed.  With DS I went in there with the attitude that no expectations, if I need something, I'll ask for it, if not, I'm happy to just let things go, and I ended up needing hardly anything for pain control with DS both during and after delivery because I wasn't focused on medicated/unmedicated, just on birthing my little guy.  The one thing that being fit helped with was endurance, I didn't get nearly as worn out with DS as I had with DD, but his delivery was half the time too (18 hrs vs. 36hrs)...  It also helped with pushing in that it took 10 minutes from a "zero station" for DS to enter the world because I had muscle awareness to use the right set of muscles together. 

    Keep an open mind, educate yourself on all things L&D so they're "no big deal" when the time comes and you'll find yourself in a lot better position mentally.  Also, in the words of my Developmental Psych professor: "All too often women in general tend to get wrapped up in "natural" delivery, unless the baby comes out of your mouth, it is a natural delivery!"..

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  • I'm not sure that there is really a correlation. I have lots of friends who never workout or do so only lightly and had natural births. And very fit friends who didn't. I do crossfit and run but had epidurals both times. I didn't have any desire to go naturally. Recovery was hard with my first, easy with the second despite being equally fit. There are so many variables and every women and every delivery is different 
  • I've never done P90X or Insanity (heard they're intense!) but I have a liking for running marathons. I ran up to the day I gave birth and it helped IMMENSELY! Near the end I was running at a very easy pace to keep from stressing my body - we had a preterm labor scare at 33 weeks and I needed to keep my body from too much stress. My son did come early anyways, but his health as a 5 week early preemie has completely shocked the doctors. Now whether that is due to being active/healthy during pregnancy or not, I'm not sure. My advice is STAY HYDRATED and watch for UTI's :) Those two sent me into labor early :s When you're active and pregnant, stay ultra-hydrated.

    I did delivery little man naturally and I wouldn't change a thing! The delivery was super fast, after my water broke, he was out in 30 minutes. Pushing was actually enjoyable (compared to just laying there during contractions) and it took less than 6 pushes to get him out. This was my first so it's completely understandable to be nervous! Don't let anyone scare you away from natural birth, though. I kept reminding myself that God made our bodies to do this. 

    One of the best parts of natural birth was feeling the process of childbirth and being able to walk afterwards. (mainly I just walked to the bathroom. I hate bed pans and catheters.)

    Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 BabyFruit Ticker Visit The Nest! image image
  • I was a pretty fit person before my first (for years I was a runner, lifting weights 3-4 times a week up until I was 8 months pregnant, etc.) and I had a very easy, quick natural birth - of a nearly 9 pound baby!  A lot of people said they thought it was because I was physically fit before the birth.

    I did not exercise at all between the birth of my first and my second (I have 2 under 2), but I was always active, walking everywhere, very active with my large/heavy child, living on the third floor and never using the elevator, etc. My second birth was also relatively quick and it was natural (no meds or interventions), however due to a lot of stress for many reasons, it was NOT an easy pregnancy and I had stop/start premature labor for a month...

    So I think physical AND emotional/spiritual health are very important for natural births especially!!

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