We were delighted to catch up with first time mum and Bond actress Rachel Grant after the recent birth of her baby daughter, Maya.
Rachel is the British, Phillippine-born actress who played Peaceful alongside Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond film Die Another Day. A martial arts expert, she won Best Actress and Best Fight in the Shockfest Film Festival for her role as Princess in Red Princess Blues.
At the age of 44, Rachel was technically ‘an older mum’ but she breezed through pregnancy without any negative symptoms at all. Unsurprisingly for someone who is so physically active generally, Rachel continued to exercise throughout her pregnancy.
‘I really enjoyed being pregnant,’ said Rachel, ‘I stayed active right up until the last few days, clocking up walks of around 5 miles in the final week of pregnancy. And I loved my regular pregnancy ballet sessions with my sister Angela, who teaches in London. She adapted our remote sessions as my pregnancy progressed ….of course it didn’t involve pirouettes or jumps but the ballet moves really benefitted my core and pelvis and helped my strength and fitness.’ Rachel also continued to play golf right up until the end of her pregnancy, adjusting her swing as her bump got bigger.
Baby Maya Patricia was induced at 41 weeks and although Rachel was given an epidural it had worn off by the time Maya was born, five hours later. ‘I had worked hard at hypnobirthing,’ Rachel continued, ‘and I refused a second epidural. The pain was bearable and I wanted to feel it, the techniques I’d learned and my own physical strength and fitness really helped me through my labour.’
Rachel, has also become a firm advocate of the benefits of eating the placenta. ‘I realise that some people find it a bit strange,’ she said, ‘but it gave me a tremendous burst of energy and was very beneficial for my milk production.’
Rachel is also convinced that staying so active and exercising throughout her pregnancy has given baby Maya a positive head start in life. ‘I’ve read that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for the development of the baby and certainly Maya is incredibly alert! Within days she was holding up her head and looking at me, she smiled within her first two weeks and she’s full of energy. Now, aged five months, Maya is already crawling and even tries to get onto her feet into a sort of downward dog yoga pose!’
Although she was back at work just two weeks after giving birth, Rachel waited six weeks for the go-ahead from her doctor before getting back into regular exercise after the birth. ‘My mummy tummy receded really quickly and I didn’t have any stretch marks at all. I really believe wearing my FittaMamma maternity fitnesswear helped significantly with this – it stands to reason that supporting your baby bump during pregnancy will help ease the pressure on your skin as well as your core and pelvic floor.’
Back in her home gym, Rachel’s postnatal exercise routine initially focussed on lots of stretching to ease out her back but now includes regular use of her elliptical and rowing machines. ‘At the moment my husband looks after Maya whilst I do my postnatal exercise sessions,’ said Rachel, ‘but I’m hoping to get Maya involved too. Including my baby as part of my postnatal exercises seems like a great idea!’
Whilst she has always exercised regularly, Rachel says she got much more of a ‘buzz’ from exercising during pregnancy than she did previously – and it’s continued with her postnatal exercise too. ‘I absolutely love running on the treadmill,’ she says, ‘I get a real high from it! It was hard being pregnant and having a baby during the pandemic as I still haven’t been able to see my family, but staying active and exercising throughout my pregnancy made a huge difference to my levels of stress, anxiety and mental stability. I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed working out as much as I do now.
I feel fantastic about becoming a mother and truly believe in the concept of staying fit for both of us. I want to be an inspiration for my daughter – it’s so important! I’m also looking forward to introducing Maya to Filipino martial arts, just as soon as she’s old enough, I love the idea of encouraging our daughter to be active.’
Rachel has continued to wear her FittaMamma fitnesswear since giving birth. She especially loves the softness of our unique fabric against her skin and the ‘Fit Mamma’ message of our maternity and postnatal vests 😊
With many thanks to Rachel for looking fabulous in FittaMamma maternity and postnatal fitnesswear and for sharing her wonderful images.
Find Rachel on Facebook: www.facebook.com/officialrachelgrant