Working while pregnant – Fitness Instructor

Juggling pregnancy and the day job isn't easy. Fitness and pilates instructor, Karen Laing, 33, describes how she's had to adapt her job

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“My day involves a mixture of giving one-on-one pilates lessons in people’s homes, and teaching groups of clients at gyms and in offices. Days filled with lycra-wearing and exercise is probably most pregnant women’s idea of hell, but fitness is my passion, so when I found out I was pregnant, stopping was never an option. I knew I just had to find a way to adapt my job.

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I usually start at 9.30am with classes running through to lunchtime, in several different locations. I always have a bottle of water, a banana and ginger sweets on hand to combat morning sickness, but concentrating on giving the class is often enough to distract me from feeling ill. The part I wasn’t able to hide was my weight gain. People are used to seeing me with a flat stomach, so when I got a slight bulge at 11 weeks people started guessing. One lady said to me in the changing rooms ‘You’ve got a secret haven’t you?’, and I didn’t deny it, but I told most of my clients after my scan at 13 weeks.

 “Work’s been great for pelvic floor exercises”

I was able to demonstrate most of the pilates moves until I was 30 weeks but then I switched from showing them, to talking them through, as my bump began to get in the way. My clients are really understanding though, especially those in my pregnancy pilates class.

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My job’s been really helpful in preparing my body for labour and I’ve managed to avoid backache, which I’m sure is down to practising good posture. It’s also helped me keep on top of my pelvic floor exercises, as I can’t help squeezing my pelvic floor muscles while telling the women in my class to do the same. After the birth I’m going to develop the pregnancy pilates side of my business. For now though, it’s on with the lycra and the trainers.”

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