Women’s Only: Are CrossFit and Paleo Suitable During Pregnancy?

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by ASHLEY N. CLINE

Women’s Only: Are CrossFit and Paleo Suitable During Pregnancy?
Hi there, fellow CrossFit Mommas! You might recall my first blog post with Tabata Times when I was 20 weeks pregnant. At 20 weeks I was feeling great and excited to share with you my Paleo and CrossFit pregnancy journey every step of the way. However, my body had other plans.

Shortly after I wrote that post, I began having a difficult time just being on my feet for more than five minutes — let alone getting through a whole modified WOD. Light-headedness consumed me, and I couldn’t even stand long enough to keep up with the dishes at home (though you better believe I milked that for all it was worth!). After explaining this to my doctor, he strongly urged me to put my Paleo lifestyle on hold and indulge in some carbs daily.

Needless to say, I couldn’t continue on with CrossFit during my pregnancy. For weeks I tried all kinds of homeopathic things to change the way I felt, but nothing helped.
This news was devestating to me, but if it meant I would be able to stay on my feet long enough to keep up with CrossFit, I would oblige. After a few weeks of eating oatmeal for breakfast and whole wheat toast at dinner (and the occasional mac & cheese), I was still not feeling any better. Feeling defeated and a little frightened that something was wrong with my pregnancy and/or me, I marched back into the doctor’s office and demanded some tests to see what the problem was.

Thankfully, after a frustrating process, all tests came back negative. The doctor chalked up my state to being no more than a rough – yet normal – pregnancy. This was a particularly tough pill to swallow because my first pregnancy was absolute heaven, I loved almost every minute of it, and I thought I was born to be a baby makin’ machine.

Determining the solution...
Needless to say, I couldn’t continue on with CrossFit during my pregnancy. For weeks I tried all kinds of homeopathic things to change the way I felt, but nothing helped. Some of the homeopathic solutions I tested out included: iron vitamins, vitamin B6, folate vitamins, iron cast skillet for cooking, pregnancy tea and even support stockings. I continued to do all “remedies” through my pregnancy with little success. The vitamins were recommended by my doctor, and the only one that didn’t sit well with my was the B6m which made me nauseous. I was really willing to try anything just to be able to keep up with my very active toddler during pregnancy.

Ultimately, I simply avoided hot showers or anything that would let my body temperature rise (including exercise), stayed hydrated with lots of coconut water, snacked often, and stayed off my feet.

“Bummed” doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. I actually felt as if I had let the whole CrossFit community down, as I know many women have done CrossFit throughout their pregnancy very successfully. But I’d just like to see more day-to-day documentation or blogging of the ups and downs of doing so on the web. There is so little information out there for pregnant moms, and I was sincerely hoping to contribute to this dialogue. But at the end of the day, I could only listen to my body and do what was best for me and my baby.

The little one

Although it may be difficult to let go of a lifestyle you feel so strongly about, you just have to do what is best for you and your baby. CrossFit and Paleo will be there when you are ready to pick back up.
The good news? I still gave birth to a healthy and incredibly strong baby girl who gave me hell through the entire pregnancy, labor and delivery, but she turned out to be the happiest baby. She even sleeps through most of the night. After seeing how happy and healthy she was, I decided that during my pregnancy she likely sucked every nutrient from my body, and I just couldn’t keep up.

What can you learn from my story? Listen to your body. Although it may be difficult to let go of a lifestyle you feel so strongly about, you just have to do what is best for you and your baby. CrossFit and Paleo will be there when you are ready to pick back up. Two months post baby, I am officially back to my CrossFit and Paleo ways and excited to share my journey with you on getting back my pre-baby body!

About Ashley

Ashley N. Cline is a member of Red Alpha, social media consultant, and mother of two. She found CrossFit after having her first child, and she currently tweets (http://twitter.com/ashleycline) about her experiences CrossFitting and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while juggling two young children and running a business. 

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