Creating quite a stir by documenting her pregnancy on Instagram, Sarah Stage has sparked off a debate about her well-defined abs, considering she’s eight months along. The lingerie model and an animal rights activist has heard it all—from envy-driven messages, to haters who believe she’s jeopardizing the safety of her baby, and even those who have applauded her for her fit form through the journey (albeit in disbelief).
Interestingly though, experts suggest that it is indeed possible to have a body like Sarah Stage even when you’re pregnant, if you follow a healthy routine. But this comes with its fair share of ifs and buts. Here’s what’s working in Stage’s favor:
Sarah is quite tall, and it is her first baby—both of these factors are advantageous to such form. Plus, she hasn’t abandoned her exercise routine, which is great considering physical training during pregnancy can increase stamina and strength to help ease one through labor and childbirth. Your genetic make-up and descent, body structure, and level of fitness prior to the pregnancy, all contribute significantly to the purpose.
Experts suggest having small meals during the day to maintain the muscles while you’re pregnant. If you are fit before your pregnancy, you will have no trouble staying healthy and fit during your pregnancy.
In fact, did you know that you can exercise at the same level of intensity as you did before the pregnancy? You just have to modify the workouts to safeguard your baby bump. You can exercise till the day you give birth under the supervision of your trainer and OB/GYN.
A Fit Pregnancy
In the first trimester, continue with the regular core exercises. But do not hold your breath, do twists or jerky movements. Stick to workouts that involve lying on your back. Try the roll back: Sleep on your back, legs bent, and lift your hands toward the ceiling. Then, lower your hands over your head, but keep them outstretched without touching the floor. Curl your head, shoulders and arms off the floor, and when your back is off the ground, stretch out your legs.
In the second trimester, avoid doing exercises on your back. Instead, you can do the plank exercise, which is a full-body workout that strengthens the arms, legs and the abdomen.
In the third trimester, you can engage the core and improve your posture by sitting on a fitness or stability ball. It is a moderate exercise that is safe for you and the baby.
On an end note, weight gain exceeding the appropriate amount (15lb-20lb) contributes to postpartum weight retention and poor body image. Therefore, staying in shape during your pregnancy works in your favor on multiple levels—mental health, physical fitness and emotional wellness.