My name is Anna and I am Mum to Eva, 4, and 2 year old twins, Alfred and Aster. When I went on maternity leave with Eva I was Head of English in a secondary school and had also recently qualified as a fitness instructor. Despite staying active during my pregnancy with Eva and having a straightforward delivery, I suffered some weakening of my pelvic walls postnatally which I found rather horrifying (to say the least) and which left me fearful of walking or even standing for any length of time. I had no idea at the time how common this is because it’s something that is so rarely shared and discussed. I wrongly believed it wasn’t the kind of thing that happens to 28 year olds. I did extensive research and was thankfully able to entirely correct the issue, through the exercises and practices I now teach. In 2021 I was the fittest and strongest I had ever been when I became pregnant for the second time…
In April 2021 we were both utterly shocked and delighted to discover we were expecting twins! I was, of course, very conscious of the immense strain carrying two babies would place on my body, but it was certainly a good opportunity to thoroughly test everything I had learnt to date!
I had the opportunity to practice what I preach and was able to sustain my previous fitness levels and recover much more quickly than after Eva. My twin pregnancy was a great challenge for my knowledge and practice of pre and postnatal exercise and it was the final reassurance and confirmation that I needed to leave the classroom behind and become a Personal Trainer.
During both my pregnancies I suffered with pelvic girdle pain and pubic symphysis disorder, but with the twins I was able to manage my symptoms much more effectively and remain extremely active with both walking and workouts until the day before I went into hospital to be induced at 36+4 weeks. Whereas with Eva I was a little afraid of moving, with the twins I was able to tweak exercises and find alternatives to keep me moving.
10 months after my twin pregnancy and vaginal delivery, I had a postnatal physiotherapy assessment and have a grade 5/5 strength pelvic floor – you can imagine my relief and delight after my previous issues. Unsurprisingly, I also had a 3.5cm ab separation gap on the day they were born (anything below 3.5cm is considered normal, above 3.5cm is diastasis recti). By 10 months postpartum this had closed to 0.5cm above and below my tummy button and 1.5cm around it. I lost very little cardiovascular fitness and, though it wasn’t my priority, I lost all and more of my gained weight within 6 months. But without question, the best thing about my postnatal recovery was that I was able to continue to carry and chase Eva around all day as well as lug about our two new additions.
Everyone’s experience of pregnancy is unique and my two very different experiences have made me immensely passionate about helping other women to support and empower their bodies.
What I do works. And this is why, since having Eva, I have retrained as a Personal Trainer: to help other women, of all ages, strengthen their bodies and feel their best.
Whatever your age, shape, size, fitness levels, if you want to work on you and feel better, I am here to help.