Mamma to three gorgeous children, Emma Bord is a qualified pre and postnatal fitness instructor who lives and breathes her passion for fitness. She shares her enthusiasm for exercise during pregnancy and why she believes it’s so important for pregnant women to stay active.
‘Your body is amazing,’ says Emma ‘but labour is the hardest physical activity you’re ever likely to go through. Being physically fit and strong makes such a big difference, not just for your body but for your mind as well. You would expect to train for a marathon and preparing your body for labour is no different. The discipline of exercise really helps, it improves the way you breathe, improves your physical strength and helps you to stay in control.’
Emma is great advocate of hypnobirthing, attending a hypnobirthing course during her first pregnancy and continuing to use the principles of hypnobirthing when her next two babies were born. ‘I found it really useful in helping to achieve the right mindset, especially remembering that the pain doesn’t last and the outcome is worth it! Labour IS painful, but the pain leads to a good thing and the same can be true when you exercise too.’
Archie (now two and a half) was delivered without any pain relief and so, more recently, was baby Lydia. ‘I do accept that this was a personal choice and not one that everyone is able to make but I held on to the mindset of having done it once before and believed I was capable of doing it again. Keeping so fit and healthy during pregnancy made me feel really strong going into labour,’ said Emma. As big sister Lola (now a healthy four year old) had needed special care when she was first born, both subsequent pregnancies were carefully monitored throughout and Lydia’s birth was induced at 37 weeks but luckily neither she nor Archie had any problems. The labours were straightforward and both babies were fit and healthy at birth.
‘I truly believe exercise during pregnancy is a saving grace for so many women – it certainly was for me,’ enthused Emma. ‘It’s not just the physical benefits of pregnancy exercise but the mental aspects too. If you’re suffering from anxiety or prenatal depression, or even just feeling overwhelmed with tiredness, making the effort to stay active throughout pregnancy makes such a big difference. Even just 10 minutes of activity can lift your mood.’
Working through the pandemic was challenging, not just because she was pregnant but also managing a toddler and a four year old at home. Emma would normally be running regular classes and one to one personal training sessions but she switched to training via Zoom, fitting in online classes around childcare, which she shared with her husband over lockdown.
‘I think we all missed the community element of the classes,’ she said, ‘especially the chance for my pre and postnatal clients to catch up with other mums and mums-to-be and share their experiences. It’s not just about the rush of endorphins and the chance to devote some time to looking after yourself but also remembering that you’re not the only one having sleepless nights or feeling anxious about giving birth during a pandemic.’
The challenges of COVID-19 have encouraged Emma to change the way she works and she has been busy developing more online workouts to share via a new App. ‘Whilst it’s not the same as attending a class, working out at home means women can exercise safely throughout the pandemic. If you’re pregnant, just had a baby or even as mother, you simply don’t want the risk of attending a gym or a class. It’s still perfectly possible to workout at home with minimal equipment and I’ve put together a whole series of videos at all levels, including pre and postnatal workouts.’
Try one of Emma’s home workouts for yourself!
Looking great in FittaMamma gear
We’re delighted that Emma has worn FittaMamma maternity fitnesswear for all three of her pregnancies.
She says ‘I love the clothes, they are comfortable to wear and really supportive just where you need it, without cutting in around your boobs and your bump. The maternity running leggings were a great favourite of mine and the Pregnant Not Powerless top always drew loads of positive comments. Since I’ve had Lydia, I’ve passed them onto my sister and now she’s enjoying them too!
Find Emma at www.emmabordpt.com