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Working out in Pregnancy

Today’s interview is with Fitness Mum, Serena. She is a body pump instructor, and she is currently pregnant with number 2. Here is our interview with her, and her fitness routine, even in pregnancy.


1. How and when did you first get started in fitness?
I wasn’t very active as a child. I only got interested in fitness and exercising when I started work. I started off getting certified to be a Personal Trainer, then on to teaching Body Pump.

2. What is your occupation?
I teach Body Pump at Fitness First, Kuala Lumpur.

3. How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? What were you doing?
Oh I was pretty hard core. Body Pump classes 4 times a week. I also did Body Step and supplemented that with outdoor running, or running on the treadmill in the gym. You could say that I was pretty active!

4. When you found out your were pregnant, did you modify your workout routine? How & Why?
Well, this is my second pregnancy so you could say I am now a veteran at being a fitness mum! But, yeah with my first pregnancy, I didn’t stop working out. I just cut down on the intensity and took less heavy weights. I stopped running outdoors, but still walked briskly in the gym or in the park. I still taught body pump till 6 months along – I just carried progressively lighter weights. I cut back on body step for safety reasons (jumping up and down in the step is not advisable), but otherwise, it was exercise as per normal.
And as you get further along into your pregnancy, for body pump at least, you need to adjust the bench for when you do chest exercises or anything that requires you to lay down on your back (see photo).


This is because the weight of the baby will press down on your diaphragm and make it difficult for you to breathe. Adjusting the bench this way, slanted at an angle, makes it easier to get the air into your lungs.

P8173370 5. When you first found out you were pregnant what was your primary concern with respect to your exercise routine?
Oh, nothing much. I really didn’t stress about it – I already knew how to listen to my body. I also read a lot of literature that it’s fine to keep exercising if your body is used to it.

6. Overall, during your pregnancy, describe what you do for exercise.
Body pump and brisk walking.

7. What was the most supportive thing someone told you about you working out during pregnancy? The most unsupportive?
Well, people say, I look terrific pregnant and working out! But not just me.. most pregnant fitness mums look good. It’s something about the glow, and overall, everything just looks tight and perky! LOL. No one really said anything outrightly unsupportive to me – maybe some aunties were just concerned and told me to be careful. That’s about it.

8. How was your first, second and third trimester, with respect to exercise?
With the first baby, I was fine throughout. 100% energetic. With my second baby, I was more tired in my 1st trimester, then fine by the second. I guess it’s always different every time!

9. How did you know what you were doing for exercise during your pregnancy was ok/safe? Did you ever doubt your decisions?
I didn’t really know. I just listened to my body. And since I have already gone through it once, I believe I will keep doing it, with every baby:) I never doubted my decision.

10. During your pregnancy, did you have any complications such as hypertension or extreme water retention?
No none. The water retention was worse for me, after delivery actually. But I soon worked it off, when I went back to my fitness routine.

P817335811. If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?
Nothing I can think of!

12. How much total weight did you gain during your pregnancy?
15kg. I think it was a bit on the high side – was supposed to be around 12kgs, but otherwise I was healthy and fine.

13. Did you get frustrated that you could no longer workout as hard?
Well, as with most sportswomen or generally people who are fit and used to intense exercise, of course they will miss it, once they get pregnant and have to cut back on the cardio. It is natural for us as women, to feel a little, erm.. unhappy with the way we look especially towards delivery time, but that’s only natural. Of course we all miss our super trim body when we were at our height of cardio and weights training! LOL

14. Did you get any stretch marks? Do you think creams or oils prevent them?
None – but I think that’s genetic, isn’t it? I did use the anti-stretch mark cream though – just the basic sort you get from the pharmacy. Nothing too expensive or extraordinary.

P817336915. How was your labor and delivery?
The first one was Cesarean. But I am opting for natural birth this second time round. Fingers crossed!

16. What was the weight of baby?
The first baby was 2.7 kgs.

17. How quickly did you lose your weight with your first?
Very quickly! And that’s why, if your body is used to it, you should workout right up till the time of delivery, or as far as you can go. It really helps you bounce back more quickly. Of course if you have never worked out in your life, I suggest you approach this style with caution because your body is not used to it. Always exercise common sense and consult your doctor if you are unsure.

18. What advice would you give other women who want to work out during pregnancy?
Listen to your body, and workout in the manner you have always done. You might choose to cut back on some weights but that’s entirely up to you and how your body adjusts to the pregnancy.

Well, on behalf of Cikipedia and our readers, we all wish you, Serena, all the best with your delivery! God Bless! 

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8 Responses to Working out in Pregnancy

  1. Mica August 22, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    How awesome, I always admire women who exercise during pregnancy, it seems as if so many suffer from tiredness and illness so good to see her smiling and happy working out. It seems like she is right, if you are fit before pregnancy you should keep at it during pregnancy.
    She looks beautiful and fit! Good luck to her!

    • ciki August 22, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      i agree! she has a glow about her:)

  2. Roger August 22, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    Yayyyyyy Serena !!! Best BP instructor by a long mile 🙂

    • ciki August 22, 2012 at 8:53 am #


  3. Flabby Less August 22, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    she’s so cool!

    pregnancy is a celebration and not a restriction!

    • ciki August 22, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      I agree she is.. and it’s not:) LOL

  4. Sue August 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Way to go Serena, excellent post Ciki.

    • ciki August 26, 2012 at 12:02 am #

      Cheers Sue!

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