Pumping Iron With A Baby Bump: How Femme Phorm Ladies Can Get Pumped While Expecting

5 min read

When my husband and I returned home from Mexico in November, we got a huge surprise- we are expecting our second baby together! This came as quite a shock to both of us and we are extremely thrilled with the news! This unexpected surprise does foil my plans to return to physique competitions in 2011, but more than anything, I love being a mom and I am blessed to be pregnant for the second time!

Our baby is due in the beginning of July so at 3 months pregnant, I was a little surprised to be sporting a baby bump already! Many of you may not know that I actually competed in figure at 14 weeks pregnant with my son Brady (I was obviously unaware of this). Despite being 3 and a half months pregnant, I had quite a nice set of abs! This time around, I am sitting at 15 weeks looking very pregnant in the front! My doctor explained that this has everything to do with the pregnancy hormones and the fact that I have already had a baby so my body knows what to do and this causes an early baby bump!

I gained a lot of weight with my first pregnancy so I have been very careful about what I have been eating and trying to get into the gym as often as possible. With my first pregnancy, I had no clue I was pregnant until I was 18 weeks along! Some may think this is crazy but you have to remember that I was training for a show and often with rigorous training and strict dieting; it is common for women to lose their period. I didn’t have a period the entire time I was prepping for the show and I attributed this to being ahead of the game! I did notice more cravings and fatigue than other contest preparations but I brushed it off and continued to work hard until show day! I placed fourth at the show and once the show was over and my weight stabilized, I expected my period to start again. Well, it didn’t and I had quite a swollen belly. I took a pregnancy test just for the heck of it and to my surprise, we were pregnant! An ultrasound confirmed that I was nearly halfway through the pregnancy and all joking aside, I am very lucky to have carried a baby through all of that physical stress and strenuous exercise!

This time around, I have not been so lucky to not experience the unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. I have suffered with a lot of “morning sickness” (which I would debate is all day- not just in the morning). I carry plastic shopping bags with me everywhere I go since I just never know when the urge to vomit may come! I welcomed the second trimester last week but unfortunately, I’m still struggling with the nausea and vomiting. This has made training difficult as some mornings I’m too queasy to eat let alone think about training. Without the gym, I find myself down in the dumps so I do my best to pop some ginger chewies (see right) and suck it up for my health and well-being. Usually I’m glad that I went and I know my body will thank me☺

One question I get a lot is what is considered safe when it comes to working out during pregnancy? It is good for mom and baby for the pregnant mother to perform moderate exercise during pregnancy as this reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia or hypertension in pregnancy and gestational diabetes. It is also not recommended to start a new exercise program during your pregnancy- meaning, if you weren’t a runner before you became pregnant, it’s certainly not time to start a running program. One of the considerations for pregnant exercisers to consider is that during the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage is higher with strenuous exercise. My obstetrician recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise, 4-5 times a week and to exercise at a level which you are able to carry on a normal conversation. With this advice, I have removed high intensity interval training from my workouts and have switched to lower impact intervals without sprints. Because I already lift heavier weights, I have continued to weight train but I have been working in a higher rep range with lighter weights. When you are pregnant, your body secretes the hormone relaxin which loosens the joints to allow room for the growing baby. This loosening of the joints can cause instability so I am careful to squat and lunge with lighter weight and higher reps. It is also cautioned against lying flat on your back during the second and third trimester as this can affect blood flow to the baby. I have modified my flat bench work to using an incline bench instead.

Nutrition is a very important component of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. There are several things that pregnant women are cautioned from eating such as sushi, shellfish, deli meats, raw meats, raw eggs, alcohol and unpasteurized soft cheese. Most of these things I don’t eat anyways but I will definitely miss my sushi☹ Despite the old wive’s tale that when you are pregnant you are “eating for two”, it is not necessary to eat double the calories to nourish your unborn baby. Most doctors recommend an extra 300 calories in the last 6 months of pregnancy. Until then, a normal healthy diet of 1,800-2,000 calories a day is sufficient for a healthy pregnancy. It’s important to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, low fat protein and dairy, whole grains and drink plenty of water. Here is a sample meal plan of how I am eating during my pregnancy:


  • 1 serving Trader Joes Steel Cut Oats
  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 cup Silk Light Vanilla soy milk


  • small apple
  • 1 low fat string cheese


  • 1 serving Amy’s Organic Black Bean Enchilada (gluten free)
  • Light and Fit yogurt


  • Level 1 protein shake
  • 1 brown rice cake with 1 tsp all natural peanut butter


  • 4 oz grilled chicken breast
  • Small sweet potato
  • Green vegetables


  • Level 1 protein shake
  • 1 cup Rice Chex (gluten free)

I also take a prenatal vitamin that supplies 800 mcg of folic acid (important for reducing the risk of neural tube defects in baby) and 1200mg of mercury free fish oil (to supply DHA, a fatty acid that aids in baby’s brain development).

I hope that you find these tips helpful! I love to get your feedback and questions and it has been awesome to connect with some of the readers of my column on Facebook! You can reach me here or on facebook at Facebook.com/Jillian.Amy1.

Happy training, Femme Phorm readers!

The post Pumping Iron With A Baby Bump: How Femme Phorm Ladies Can Get Pumped While Expecting appeared first on 1st Phorm.

1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury
1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury

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