Brit Williams is one of London’s most sought-after personal trainers and feels passionately about motivating people to use exercise as a resource for an empowered life. While pregnant with her first child, Brit encountered endless conflicting advice about prenatal exercise. This experience struck Brit as confusing for women, particularly when hard scientific evidence has repeatedly confirmed that an active pregnancy results in a healthier mum and healthier baby both before and after childbirth.
Having trained throughout her pregnancy and enjoyed movement as a means of physical and mental preparation for labour and motherhood, Brit is determined to share her pregnancy-positive message and unique strength training programme with expectant mothers.
She shares her positive fit pregnancy tips and how to stay motivated to exercise during pregnancy with FittaMamma……
Staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge, especially during pregnancy, but Brit is passionate about why you should maintain your exercise routine during pregnancy. She says, ‘The science around pregnancy exercise is compelling: studies have shown that an active pregnancy can reduce maternal hypertension, support a shorter labour and improve lower back strength.
But when you’re pregnant there is a strong level of ‘selfless’ motivation – your fit pregnancy benefits your baby. It’s not just that you will be stronger to help support a stronger baby, exercise can aid fetal heart health and promote improved cognitive development. Studies at the University of Montreal have identified a positive link between active pregnancies and advanced neurodevelopment in newborns.’
Brit continued, ‘From the mothers perspective, pregnancy can be quite disorientating, there are so many changes happening but maintaining regular exercise brings back an element of control. I was really proud of my body as I progressed through pregnancy, it was doing all these incredible things, growing a baby and changing every day. Regular exercise supports the changes and helps you to feel positive rather than overwhelmed.
Joining a prenatal exercise class is also a great motivator and a way of forming a like-minded friendship group. A similar due date is not always enough to have in common – meeting other Mums who feel like you do about staying active in pregnancy is much more of a bond.’
Brit continued to train her clients up until her 38th week, which meant she was training on 4- 6 days every week throughout her pregnancy. She adapted her workouts to include more rest time, dropping the size of her weights and reducing the range of her bodyweight workouts. ‘There were some exercises that I embraced with more excitement during pregnancy,’ said Brit, ‘especially with regard to adapting routines to maintain my core strength. There should be less fear and more info about connecting with your core!’
Brit took her positive mental attitude forward into labour too.
‘Hypnobirthing techniques and yoga both proved really valuable preparation for birth. I attended a weekend hypnobirthing workshop and rehearsed breathing and visualisation skills during exercise… supplementing with prenatal-safe yoga practice offered positive reinforcement, too
The training enabled me to truly inhabit my body, knowing when to find ease in my muscles and when to push. There’s a tendency to grip out of fear but relaxing and embracing the contractions overcomes this. I wrote my own mantras to support my focus and breathing during labour.’
Try Brit’s ‘Golden Thread’ breathing technique, a simple visualisation strategy to help with breath control during labour. As you inhale, visualise drawing a long golden thread from the pit of your stomach and then visualise that thread slowly fluttering through your lips as you exhale. Aim for a four second inhale and a seven second exhale – most contractions last around sixty seconds, so that’s just five or six breaths until you rest.
Win a copy of Mind, Body, Bump!
We have five copies of Brit’s book to give away. The book will take you through exactly what is happening at each stage of your pregnancy with month by month workouts, tips on mental wellbeing, sleep and nutrition as well as recipes specially prepared for balanced pregnancy nutrition.
For a chance of winning click on the ‘contact us’ page of the FittaMamma website and send us your contact details putting ‘Mind, Body, Bump’ in the subject box. The five lucky winners will be picked at random on April 30th!
Get Mind, Body, Bump for just £8.99 (usual price £16.99) – with this exclusive FittaMamma discount code from WHSmith.co.uk
Use the discount code: BUMP19 when you shop online. Product redeemable on: 9781781318584 This discount code is valid from midnight on 1st April 2019 until 11.59pm on 31st May 2019. This is not valid with any other product or offer and is only available online, not in store. Subject to availability.
Enjoy a class with Brit for free
Brit will be hosting a prenatal exercise class and book signing at our pop up event on April 10th. Come and join us at 48 Mortimer Street – you’ll be able to try the FittaMamma Ultimate range for yourself too. Click here for more event information and to book your place! Limited availability.