crossfitting in first trimester

When many women become pregnant, especially historically active women, one of the first things they wonder is if they can still work out like they did before. Thankfully, for me, the answer has been yes.

With James Michael’s pregnancy, I was in great shape when I got pregnant and many of my workouts in the first trimester didn’t change. I didn’t scale any workouts; I was able to do every WOD as prescribed. But instead of focusing on improving my times, I just focused on being consistent.

I didn’t worry about keeping my heart rate less than 140 bpm, instead, I just listened to my body. With James Michael, I neared the end of my first trimester in June. I vividly remember one workout when I was 10 weeks along or so when the CrossFit trainer kept encouraging me to do the prescribed 50 box jumps (24 inches) unbroken. It was hot and I was still experiencing nausea at times, and I finally remember turning to him while glaring and mouthing, “I’m pregnant.” After that, he was like, “Oh, well great job!” Ha.

Though I didn’t scale in my first trimester, I do remember going a bit slower in the workouts to a pace that I felt comfortable with, though I can guarantee you my heart rate was well over 140. The only movement I remember subbing out was handstand pushups. Because the thought of being upside down and nauseous would not have been a good combination.

With my second pregnancy, now that I’m past the first trimester, I can say that it has been similar to my first trimester with James Michael. Admittedly, I’m not in near as good shape as I was carrying him, but I’m still active and can still do all movements. I’ve had less nausea with Baby #2, or maybe I’ve just had less time to harp on it with a one-year-old running around. I still got out of breath quickly around the middle of the first trimester, but that’s evening out now so that a short row doesn’t leave me breathless 🙂

A few weeks ago, near the tail end of my first trimester, I participated in a track WOD, running sprints (with the jogging stroller), backward sprints and suicides. Once again, I wasn’t fast, but I really had no issues. It felt good to really move, and made me savor the time that I can run around uninhibited.

When it comes down to it, you really just have to listen to your body. If I was breathing a little too heavy for my comfort in a WOD, I took a 5 second break to regain control of my breath, and then jumped back in.

A lot changed around the middle of my second trimester with JM, and I’m sure it will this time with Baby #2. I’ll report back when I’m 22 weeks or so to let you know what movements I had to scale and other substitutions that worked for me.

crossfit first trimester

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