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7th Jul


Your BEAUTIFUL pregnant body

When I got pregnant in the fall of 2012 I was an avid Crossfitter. I had been going 3-4 times a week for about a year and a half. I was knocking out PRs on my dead lifts, hang cleans and back squats like nobody’s business. I was able to do 5 pull ups with no kip and my handstand was almost strong enough to not need the wall for support. It was the strongest I’d ever been and for the first time I actually felt authentic about calling myself an athlete.

So when I got pregnant, I was determined to stick with Crossfit if not through my whole pregnancy than at least until my belly got big enough to keep me from swinging a kettle bell. I had heard of other women who had done it and I was not about to give up all my hard work, tight butt and toned arms. Not to mention I was definitely a little worried about putting on “pregnancy” weight. I knew I would have to make some modifications and be careful to not let my heart rate get to high during the WOD but I was sure I could make it work.

My husband and I had decided on a homebirth pretty much from the moment the stick said “positive”. There was no question that birthing at home was the right option for us and the first step in planning a home birth is finding the right midwife. Enter Davi Kahlsa of TLC Midwifery. I knew she was my midwife the minute I walked into her office. Her grounding presence, wisdom from experience, medical background and great sense of humor made me feel comfortable and confidant right from the start. I trusted Davi with my life. To me, her word was like scripture. In her care there was absolutely nothing else I could do other than trust this process and enjoy the journey.

The first thing Davi said to me in our initial meeting was that she expected all of her pregnant mamas to walk 5 miles a day, 5 days a week. Walking during pregnancy is the best exercise to tone the uterus. This will help your labor contractions be strong and efficient. Davi insisted that woman who did the walking had significant shorter labors than those who didn’t. When she asked me what I was currently doing for exercise I proudly stated “Crossfit” thinking she would be impressed with my level of physical activity and sheer strength. She was not. She recommended I slow way down and eventually stop all together. Pregnancy is a time when your body is making huge changes week by week. Your ligaments soften, your pelvis widens, your blood volume doubles, your organs get displaced not to mention you actually make a whole new organ. She encouraged me that pregnancy was not a time to tighten and build muscle but rather soften and relax into the new pregnancy body. Especially in the last trimester you want to focus on opening up and moving breath through a soft body. This will help the baby move easily through the birth canal.

The problem was, I really wasn’t ready to give up crossfit yet. I had worked so hard to get to where I was! We agreed that I would take it down a notch and work to where I felt comfortable during the first trimester.

Well, it didn’t take long for me to figure out keeping up with Crossfit was going to be much harder than I’d anticipated. I could barely make it through the warm up without feeling fatigued. I had a lot of trouble keeping my blood pressure down during the weight lifting and I was having a lot of pulling and stretching in my abdomen during squats and pull-ups. More than anything, it all just didn’t feel “right”. However just like in a difficult WOD I tried to push through. Maybe this feeling was just laziness and an excuse to go easy on myself. I dragged myself to a few more classes determined to not give up. However the more I tuned in and listened to my body, the more I heard a little voice telling me to stop. So I did.

At 16 weeks I threw in the Crossfit towel and laced up my walking shoes. From there I walked 5 miles a day 5 days a week up to the day before I gave birth. Something happened during this time. I really came into my body. I enjoyed being pregnant. More than enjoyed it really, I FREAKING LOVED IT!! The space in my day that walking created gave me time to reflect on the experience, rub my belly, talk to my baby, breathe, meditate, revel in my gratitude for my body and its ability to create and hold another little life. I was fascinated by the changes my body was making and enjoyed watching myself get bigger. Up until now I prided myself on my lean frame and the fact that nothing “jiggled” when I wore a bikini. Now, as a pregnant woman I never felt sexier. My belly was HUGE! But hey, so were my boobs! I had womanly curves I had never had before. I would look in the mirror and marvel at this new woman I had become.

At the time there were some pretty high profile celebrities pregnant along with me. Princess Kate, Kim Kardashian and I were all due weeks from each other. It disgusted me how the media picked apart their pregnancies and judged their bodies. “Look how small Kate is”, they’d say, or “Look how much weight Kim is putting on”. It’s bad enough when the media does this to people when they aren’t pregnant but to shine a judgmental light on a woman in the midst of doing the most incredible thing she will ever do is downright immoral. It reminded me of the ridicule Jessica Simpson received during her first pregnancy for how big she got when clearly she was loving being pregnant and felt great. The same media that was giving Kim such a hard time was showering Kate with such praise for her slender body and little baby bump. “Didn’t she just look radiant in that designer dress!” and “Look at those tiny ankles!”

This is the kind of stuff that gives woman the wrong idea about being pregnant. We are led to believe that staying small and lean during pregnancy is a badge of honor. “What a great pregnancy you are having, you are so small!” This is absolute bullshit. You are making another human being. If ever in your life you should be big this is the time!

I gained 50 beautiful pounds during my pregnancy. Now, because I was walking and eating well that weight was a very healthy size for me. My body was still incredibly strong despite not going to Crossfit. My legs were carrying 165 lbs 5 miles a day and up hills!

Some women gain more, some women gain less, but the focus should not be on the weight or the size. The focus needs to be on a healthy pregnancy and staying healthy in body, mind and spirit. Woman need to be encouraged and supported to enjoy this natural process. We are lucky that we get to go through it. We need to be gentle with ourselves and listen to what our bodies are telling us. It may be telling you skip that spinning class and go to bed early with a mug of hot tea. It may also tell you FEED ME, I want half a chicken and a huge side of mashed potatoes WITH the gravy. When we’re able to quiet down our negative self-talk and really listen to what the body (and baby) have to say we will be given the exact right orders for what we need. Spinach smoothies, a jog around the block, organic cookies with a big scoop of ice cream, a good cry, some stretching and meditation, you just have to listen.

The most important thing is to love yourself up. Throw out the expectations, tune out the inner voice of judgment (and any unwanted outer voice for that matter), be patient and kind, and enjoy it. The love you give yourself will give you confidence in your ability to birth your baby, feed your baby, and allow your body the time it needs to recover. After all, it’s not Crossfit — you don’t need to put your number up on the wall to show everyone your best time, heaviest weight or most reps done in 10 minutes. At the end of this workout you will have a beautiful baby, and anyone who is anyone will know what you went through to get it.

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2014-07-08 12:33:29 Reply

A beautifully written, encouraging message! It was a joy to watch your metamorphosis.

Shannon Maki

2014-07-08 13:17:37 Reply

Beautiful Dayva. I loved every minute of it as well!


2014-07-08 15:38:44 Reply

Thank you so much for sharing this important message. Pregnant women should strut (or waddle) proudly on the beach this summer, they are creating human life!


2016-04-29 16:23:10 Reply

I read this as if you were speaking directly to me. I wish you knew how much this has touched me. Thank you!

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