Woman in second trimester setting up for a deadlift, performing a goblet squat and holding a racked kettlebell.

Round 2. Baby Boy Jawad is due towards the end of April. And with hundreds of hours of continuing education under my belt and a lot of life lessons to boot, this pregnancy looks a lot different than my first pregnancy. Some is by intention, and some is by my body drawing a line in the sand.

Here are some of the choices that I’ve made during this pregnancy.

– I have decided not to run through this pregnancy. A big factor in this decision is a mild bladder prolapse that was left as a souvenir of my first pregnancy. My prolapse symptoms flared up badly during the first trimester (although it’s important to note, an increase in symptoms doesn’t necessarily correlate to an increase in grade or severity of the prolapse). While this is pretty common in subsequent pregnancies, it is something to pay attention to and it made high-impact activities pretty uncomfortable. I am doing everything I can to reduce prolapse risk factors this time around in the hopes of limiting further damage to my pelvic floor.

– I regularly check in with my pelvic PT to make sure things are still ok. We have worked to make sure my scars from the first baby are soft, that I know how to relax my pelvic floor, that my body and my pelvis are relatively balanced so baby can position himself optimally, and we’ll work on finding the best laboring positions for my body.

-I’m treating my workouts like pre-hab. I quit my group classes and began working out at home. This had to do with all the pelvic symptoms I experienced in the first trimester. At home, I still use kettlebells in addition to dumbbells, bands and TRX, but practice lower weight/higher rep work and I’m very aware of what’s going on down below. For a little cardio, I walk hills and swim.

-Lots more walking, gentle movement and body balancing activities (check out Spinning Babies if you don’t know what body balancing is!)

– I’ve selected a midwifery practice for my prenatal care and delivery. I’m still going to deliver in hospital, but this time surrounded by providers that understand the type of birth experience I desire.

– I’m practicing Hypnobirthing, a system of pain management strategies for childbirth that relies heavily on breathwork, visualization and relaxation, and that advocates for minimal forced pushing during labor.

Have you made different choices for a second or subsequent pregnancy? I’d love to hear what you learned from your first pregnancy and what you’ve done differently the next time around!

Note: This is not medical advice and I am not recommending these are the best choices for YOU. These are choices I am making after considerable consideration of what is best for my body and wellbeing. I support an individual’s right to choose whatever type of birth experience she desires.

If you are an athlete, active womxn, or otherwise place a high value on your physical fitness and long term pelvic health, download this guide to learn 4 key considerations to guide your childbirth preparation.

Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I work with people locally (Seattle’s Eastside: Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and surrounding areas) and online to develop personalized pregnancy and postpartum personal training plans. I also offer labor support (doula services) within the greater Seattle-Metro Area.

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