Ep 152: Fitness and Pregnancy with 9Round Exercise Specialist MacKenzie Rowand


Pregnancy doesn’t mean putting your fitness on pause. MacKenzie Rowand is a new mom and exercise specialist with 9Round. She has an extensive background in wellness and there’s a lot to learn from her personal journey with fitness and pregnancy. She continually had to change the way she ate and exercised during all parts of pregnancy and through recovery. Flexibility and meeting yourself where you are is the key to staying fit during pregnancy.

Your wellness during pregnancy is so personal. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Remember that you’re growing a whole person inside of you and give yourself some grace. What matters is that you get moving.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • How pregnancy changed MacKenzie’s exercise routine
  • How her fitness helped in her labor, birth, and recovery
  • When she decided it was time to get back to exercise after giving birth
  • What her workout routine looked like postpartum
  • How she felt about her new postpartum body
  • How exercise can help with pregnancy, both mentally and physically
  • Which exercises to do (and which exercises to avoid) during pregnancy
  • Why you should listen to your body when exercising during and after pregnancy
  • What are some nutrition recommendations for during and after pregnancy

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Ep 152: Fitness and Pregnancy with 9Round Exercise Specialist MacKenzie Rowand

Nicole: In this week's episode, you are going to learn about exercise and pregnancy with 9 Round exercise specialist, MacKenzie Rowand. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Caloway Rankins, a board certified OB GYN who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at drnicolerankins.com/disclaimer. Now let's get to it.

Nicole: Hello. Hello. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 152. Thank you for being here with me today. So today's episode, we have MacKenzie Rowand. She is a 9 Round exercise specialist, and MacKenzie has an exercise and sports science degree. She's also a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the national strength and conditioning association, and she is a certified nutrition and coach through the national academy of sports medicine. She got interested in this work after being a part of her own family's lifestyle change and health journey that inspired her to pursue a career in the fitness industry so that she could inspire others. MacKenzie is passionate about health and fitness and strives to encourage others to be the best version of themselves in all aspects of life. And she also recently went through her own pregnancy and birth. So we're not just gonna talk about it from the perspective of her being an expert in exercise, but also her own experience with exercise during pregnancy and birth.

Nicole: So we have a great conversation where we chat about the type of workout she did prior pregnancy, and then how those things changed once, once she got pregnant and then as she went through her pregnancy, we'll talk about whether or not she felt like being fit helped her manage her labor birth and recovery, spoiler alert, maybe not as much as she thought. And then we also talk about experience with getting back into exercising postpartum, and then of course she is going to give you some outstanding advice for exercising while pregnant and during the postpartum period. So tons of great information in this episode, I know you're gonna love it. Now, speaking of advice, you can get some great advice on making a birth plan in my online class, Make A Birth Plan The Right Way. So many people just had to Google look for what to include in a birth plan.

Nicole: They use a template or a form, and I am here to tell you emphatically that that is not enough when you do it that way, that doesn't actually tell you whether or not your doctor and hospital are going to support what is in your birth plan. And if you hand this piece of paper to them, when you get to the hospital without knowing whether or not they support what's in it, you're potentially setting yourself up for major disappointment, um, or not being able to have the things that you want for your birth. So I explain a very straightforward process in my class, Make A Birth Plan The Right Way. It is an on mind on demand class rather. So you can sign up for it at drnicolerankins.com/register. You will not regret it. Alright, let's get into the conversation with MacKenzie. Thank you so much, MacKenzie, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I am excited to talk about the topic of fitness and pregnancy.

MacKenzie: Yes, I'm so excited. Thank you so much for having me as well.

Nicole: Yeah. So why don't you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work and your family, if you'd like.

MacKenzie: Yeah, of course. Um, my name is MacKenzie. I am an exercise specialist and nutrition coach. Um, for 9 Round. I work at the world headquarters in Simpsonville, South Carolina. So a little bit about my background. I have an exercise in, in sports science degree with an emphasis in shrinking conditioning. And then I also actually have a minor in health communications. I'm a certified shrinking conditioning specialist through the NSCA. And then I'm also a nutrition coach through NA um, I am married to my husband, Michael, and we live in South Carolina and this past October we had our first baby Mariah. And so we spend a lot of time with her, but my husband is also a minister. So we spend a lot of time working with the church as well.

Nicole: Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. So you have a very busy, full life. It sounds like.

MacKenzie: Yes, but I love every minute of it.

Nicole: Good, good, good. And I'm glad you mentioned that you have like training and expertise in this. It isn't always like to, when I have, um, guests on the podcast, like them to tell like how they got into things and it sounds like this is something that you've been serious about and committed to, um, and take it seriously and do the training to make sure you bring your, your best effort to the work.

MacKenzie: Yes, absolutely. I am very passionate about health and fitness and I have been since I was in high school.

Nicole: Okay. All right. All right. Now we'll talk a bit about your own personal journey with fitness and how that affected your pregnancy. And then we'll talk about some things about what other folks can do if they are interested in getting into fitness, either during pregnancy and postpartum. So why don't we start off with, I assume you worked out before you got pregnant. So what type of workouts did you do?

MacKenzie: Yes. So, um, since I do work for 9 Round, I do a lot of kickboxing workouts. Um, I do the 30 minute circuit with 9 Round. Um, I also do some at home workouts every now and then. So typically I would work out four to five days a week doing 9 Rounds. I would, you know, maybe go for a walk with my family. We have a dog, so she loves going for walks in the evening. Um, and then if I had extra time, I like to do strength training as well, since that is kind of my focus. So I really enjoy doing that. Um, pre-pregnancy and typically my job requires me to do a lot of filming of workouts as well. So sometimes I would work out, you know, two or possibly three times a day on our schedules. So I was very active before my pregnancy, but mostly doing the kickboxing.

Nicole: Okay. Okay. And tell me, um, for those of us who don't know, what is 9 Round?

MacKenzie: So 9 Round is a 30 minute full body kickboxing workout. So there are nine rounds that are each three minutes long, and it is a combination of high intensity interval training with some strength training, body weight training. We do some jump rope in every workout, and then we also do lots of kickboxing.

Nicole: OK. Okay. Okay. So then that seems like a lot. And then you get pregnant. So how did your workout routine change once you got, once you got pregnant?

MacKenzie: So I will say the beginning of my pregnancy was kind of nerve wracking just in the fact that I didn't have much morning sickness. So that wasn't really an issue for me with my workout routine changing. But the big issue was I was just exhausted all of the time. So I definitely cut back my workouts a little bit to help my body to have more time to recover in between. Um, that was my main thing at the beginning of changing my routine.

Nicole: Okay. Okay. Yeah, there is nothing quite like that first trimester fatigue

MacKenzie: For sure.

Nicole: And it like hits you. I just remember one time, like I came and I just sat down on the couch and I just fell asleep, just like sitting on, on the couch and it just, it just like hits you.

MacKenzie: Yes, I was in bed at like eight o'clock every night. And my husband's like, I guess I'll watch TV if you're going to sleep already.

Nicole: Oh, oh goodness. So then as you, well, I guess obviously, you know, it's part of your job and your work to, to, to work out. So then how did things, um, oh, oh, I guess a couple questions. So how did your work, your workout routine change as you went through your pregnancy and then what kind of conversations did you have with your doctor about working out during pregnancy?

MacKenzie: Yeah, so, um, at the beginning, like I said, I just kind of toned back my workout, you know, in the waiting period until I went to the doctor, I was just, you know, I was really tired. We were actually in quarantine whenever I found out that I was pregnant. So I was able to just go for some walks and think about how my whole life was gonna change. Um, just spending time outside. But then from there I talked to my doctor and I just kind of told her, my background told her, you know, I've done a lot of research, but I also have a degree in exercise science and this is my job. So what are your recommendations? And she mostly just told me that her, her main thing was if I could still talk comfortably, then I was probably okay to just kind of go off of how I felt. And so of course I told her, well, I, I work out on camera and, and lead workouts. So I talk while I exercise all the time.

Nicole: Right, right.

MacKenzie: Um, so that was, that was her main recommendations. And from there, she kind of told me I could do whatever I felt comfortable with.

Nicole: Okay. Okay. Okay. And, and then how did things change as you went through your pregnancy?

MacKenzie: So in the beginning, I just focused on, you know, breathing and heart rate control, and I didn't really have to do many, many modifications. Um, as we said earlier, I exercise all the time before. So, so it didn't change that much. Um, towards, at the beginning of my second trimester, I took out prone exercises. So I no longer did anything laying on my stomach. So nothing like a Superman or anything like that, where I was laying, um, on my stomach. Um, and then I didn't really pop, as people would say until after my 20th week, it was somewhere between 20 and 25 weeks. So at that point is where laying on my back became uncomfortable. So anything laying on my back for like core work, I went ahead and took that out of my workouts. And I would do things in the standing position or maybe a, like a high plank or a side plank for core exercises. But I did continue training my core the entire time, because it's so important. And then I took out plyometric exercises about the same time. It was starting to become really difficult to jump and things in my workouts as well.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes sense.

MacKenzie: And so actually towards the end of my pregnancy, I started having some minor complications. Um, and so the last two weeks or so of my pregnancy, I did only walking. And so we just would walk in the evenings as a family.

Nicole: Okay. So you had to definitely like play it by ear and adjust, adjust things. And then towards the very end you you've, um, really had to pull it back a bit.

MacKenzie: Yes. The, the last two weeks or so.

Nicole: Okay. Okay. And how do you feel like your exercise or do you feel like the fact that you exercised and were pretty fit? How do you feel like that helped you manage your labor and birth and then recovery afterwards?

MacKenzie: I think that I had expectations. I had completely different expectations than what actually happened whenever it was time to deliver a baby. Um, I knew it was going to be hard, but people told me all along well, you're so young and fit. It's gonna be super easy for you. And that was not the case. Um, And, and in the moment I was like, I could not imagine if I had not maintained my health and fitness throughout this pregnancy. Um, I was induced in the middle of my 37th week. Okay. So I, um, did have some high blood pressure. And so they were concerned about me becoming preeclamptic. So, so I was induced because we felt like that was the safest option for me, especially since I was, you know, already 37 weeks.

Nicole: Sure.

MacKenzie: So I was in labor. Well, the beginning of the induction process until my daughter was born was 36 hours. And okay. That was a really long time. Yeah, it is. And I feel like I would not have had the endurance for that if I had not, you know, been keeping up my health as much as possible throughout those nine months.

Nicole: Yeah. That that's, that's a, it's a, a long, a long time and then Pitocin and the contractions. So I can, I mean, was it hard for you in the moment to, like, realize like, uh, what were all these people saying that it was gonna be easy and now it's maybe not necessarily so easy

MacKenzie: Yes. And then, and then the next day I was, I was just so tired and so sore. I was like, I thought they said it was gonna be easy. Um, and, and it was the hardest thing I've ever done, but definitely the most rewarding. And like I said, I think that I couldn't imagine if I had not, you know, worked out the whole time and, and really continued to make my body stronger. Um, then I definitely think that it could have had a much different impact. Sure. And I'm really thankful too, you know, for my exercise science knowledge and my fitness throughout, I think that it helped me in that recovery process as well, because, you know, there were some days where I just didn't feel that great, but, you know, I knew of exercises ways that I could move my body and feel, feel good without, you know, just going full throttle with my workouts as well.

Nicole: Yep. Yep. Yep. That makes a lot of sense. Now, do you mind me asking, did you feel disappointed or upset or like, why am I getting high blood pressure when I am so healthy?

MacKenzie: Yes, absolutely. It was, um, it was a very hard thing for me to come to grips with, uh, the first time that I had a high blood pressure reading, I actually, um, I thought that it was wrong for sure. And, and then they took it again and then they told me I needed to go to the hospital, but of course, because of COVID I had to drive myself. So that wasn't ideal either. Right.

MacKenzie: So, you know, my husband met me there and he was there almost as fast as I was, but, um, it's still just one of those things where I was like, well, what did I do wrong? And then it's one of those things where there was nothing I could do to prevent that, you know, um, at this point I was almost full term. Uh, and so my body just was having a hard time handling it. And my doctor had told me at the beginning, you know, that first time moms are, you know, you don't really know how your body's going to handle the pregnancy, but it definitely did take me a little bit to realize that you can do everything that you're supposed to do, but still have complications.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. The whole pregnancy and birth process is, is unpredictable. And you have to be ready to ride those waves, for sure,

MacKenzie: For sure. I'm just glad that I did what I could to lower my risk. You know, I could have started dealing with those problems a lot sooner. Um, but instead it was already a safe point in my pregnancy to deliver if I needed to and I was able to hold on for another couple of weeks.

Nicole: Good. Good, good, good. So how soon did you get back to working out postpartum?

MacKenzie: My first official workout after Mariah was born was right at the six week mark. Um, so I got released Wednesday and on Thursday I was like, who wants to meet up and work out with me? I was so excited. Um, but it was definitely a modified workout. I, I treated it very similar to the way I did throughout my pregnancy. I was focusing on just listening to my body. I was taking modifications as needed. Um, I didn't do you know any plyometric work? I didn't feel like my body was ready for that. Um, I just focused more on slow and control, took it nice and easy, but I felt beyond accomplished once I was done with that workout.

Nicole: I bet. I can only imagine it's like you had been waiting if, especially if it's what you do all the time that you wanted to get, get back to it. Um, how did you feel about your new postpartum body? Because definitely things change after you have a baby.

MacKenzie: Yes. And I, I do think that that was part of the reason that I was so excited to get back is because I had never seen my body like this. And so that was definitely something that was hard for me to come to grips with. I have always been a very active person. So, you know, sitting at home wasn't ideal. Um, I did start walking short distances, you know, just down the block and back, you know, a week postpartum. And I would kind of increase my walks as I felt comfortable because I was ready to, you know, get off some of that extra weight. But at the same time, something I tried to do in regards to my body was just constantly remind myself that I just did like the most amazing thing that a female body can do. Um, and, and so I was just, you know, this is a really amazing thing that my body can do. And so I need to give myself some grace and take my time getting back to where I was.

Nicole: I love that. I love that. And it's so, so important because it is it's, it's a completely amazing thing. It it's the same thing. I, I tell folks like whether they have a, a vaginal birth or, or a C-section like your body grew an entire human being.

MacKenzie: My mom laughed at me the whole nine months because every time someone would say something, I'm like, I'm growing a human.

Nicole: Exactly. Exactly. So let's talk about some advice for those who want to start working out. So pregnancy is often a time that women decide, Hey, now I'm ready to get active. I wanna do what I can in order to help, you know, support my pregnancy. What are two or three pieces of advice for someone that you would give, who wants to start exercising while pregnant?

MacKenzie: Yes. So the first thing that I would say, if you're not someone that has worked out, uh, before pregnancy, I think it's very important that you kind of take it slow. Your body is already going through. Like we talked about earlier, the craziest thing ever. Um, it, it takes a lot on your body. And so I think it's important to take it slow, listen to your body, um, and trust your gut. If it doesn't feel comfortable, then it's okay to not do that. Um, I think it's really important to just trust your body because it knows what it's doing, you know your limits. Um, so do what's comfortable for you, especially if you're just beginning. Um, I also think it's important to know, know that exercising is very important. It's going to help you through the entire process. It'll help you to feel better, even, even though pregnancy's so exhausting, it does help to boost your energy levels. And it has a lot of benefits, but I think it's important to remember that it's okay to take a day off and it's okay to take three days off if that's what you need. Um, there's not a one size fits all. And so whenever it comes to exercising, just do what you enjoy and move your body. And you're going to thank yourself later.

Nicole: That is outstanding advice, outstanding advice. And there's definitely research that shows that exercise during pregnancy helps you feel better. It can help your, your labor and all of those good, great things. So you make some really excellent points. Are there any particular exercises that you recommend for pregnant folks or things that they stay away from?

MacKenzie: Yeah, so, um, I think that something that's really important is, um, that I would recommend don't stop training your core just because you're pregnant. You're going to want to change those exercises. Like I mentioned earlier, maybe standing or in the plank position or a side plank position, but a strong core is so, so important and something else that has to do, you know, with our core muscles and things that you wouldn't necessarily think about. I did jump rope through my entire pregnancy. Hmm. Um, so the round one at nine round is always jump rope and it's, it's not a high impact moving. You're just jumping over a tiny, but I really think that jumping rope, the entire pregnancy has really helped with my core control, um, with, with my pelvic floor muscles. I, I don't really have any issues with that. And so I think that strengthening those muscles, it does more than you think. Um, so I know that it's kind of crazy. Most people don't jump rope after like the fifth grade. Right. But, um, I definitely feel like that made a difference because I was really concerned getting back into jumping rope after my delivery. Right. And I haven't had any issues with that.

Nicole: Nice, nice.

MacKenzie: So that's just kinda like a sidebar, if, if you're worried about that, um, that's definitely a great option, but when it comes to exercises that I would avoid once again, like I said earlier, it's kind of listening to your body and doing what's comfortable for you. Um, I would, I would avoid things like burpees that involve getting down and back up really quickly or something that could cause you to lose your balance, um, as well, just because, you know, the center of gravity changes, especially the further along you go.

Nicole: Yep. For sure. Yeah. Your, your, your body is just going to work differently. So absolutely. Um, that center of gravity is gonna change and you're just, just some things you're not gonna be able to do. Um, but I'd love to suggest some of jump roping because it's something you can do in your house. Like it's not something that, you know, you have to go anywhere or do anything, especially in these, um, unfortunate times that seem to never want to end. Yes. Um, that's an easy thing that, that you can do. And then I'm, I'm, I'm guessing also even like plain old walking, it doesn't like, uh, I love what you say about do what you like. Don't feel like this, isn't the time to, you know, train for a marathon, just move your body.

MacKenzie: Of course. And, and for me, you know, I, I love 9 Round. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it, you know, and I really en enjoy the, the high intensity, the kickboxing, but there were some days where I was like, I need lower intensity. My body cannot do that today. And I'm gonna go for a walk instead. Right. And, and that's good time with your family as well. If you have other children, that's a good way to get them out and help them to move their bodies as well. So you can kind of make it a family thing. And there were a couple of times where I was like, I don't, I don't want to do the higher intensity today, but it's cold outside. Or I guess I live in South Carolina, it was hot outside in October. So, you know, doing a light lift or something like that, do what do what's fun? I mean, if a summertime go for a swim, you know, you can do all kinds of things to move your body, um, in a way that's fun for you.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. So then what about folks after they have the baby? And they're trying to juggle, you know, having a brand new baby and new body and wanting to get active, but being tired. So what are two or three pieces of advice you have for women who wanna start exercising after they have a baby?

MacKenzie: So the first one, and I I've beat it into the ground today, but I'll continue to do it. Trust your body. You, you know, your body tells you when it's too tired. If you, if you didn't sleep all night because you were up with a baby every hour, every 2 hours, then it's okay to take a day off, take a nap. I mean, if you can take a nap, take the nap, right. But, um, it's important. You don't want to risk burning yourself out. You don't want to risk over training, give yourself some time, take it easy and do what feels comfortable for you. The bouncing back thing. It, it's not all that it's cracked up to be. It's going to take time. You spent nine months growing the human. So give yourself a little bit of time when you're coming back. Of course, it's important to move your body, but you really want to listen, make sure you're getting proper rest and recovery, especially between workouts, because that's just as important it as the physical part of working out for your health.

Nicole: Yes. Oh my goodness. Yes. And I'm so glad you said something about the whole bouncing back, especially on social media. There's like, you know, the snap back and all of this, that and the other. And it's like, don't, don't even look at that stuff, cuz it is just gonna upset you probably more than anything. Um, more than anything else because everybody has their own journey and their own time. And, and you, you, in a way you have a new normal of what your body will be after you have, um, a baby. So don't stress about, you know, bouncing back.

MacKenzie: Oh for sure. And, and to that don't be afraid to modify. Um, I used to be able to do tons of pushups on my toes and I've been doing modified pushups since coming back from having a baby because you know, my abs are not as strong as they were. My core muscles are not as strong and I took six weeks off. Um, don't be afraid to modify our bodies grew strong in a completely different way. Um, but the other things that were strong, you know, they need some time to be rebuilt and don't be afraid to see a physical therapist. If you need that. If, if you need that in order to help your body finish your recovering, don't be afraid to explore that option. Just don't be afraid to modify because that's going to help us come back stronger in the end. You don't have to go full throttle as soon as you come back because we took a lot of time off, you know, just for the recovery portion to make sure that you take it slow and listen to your doctor's recommendations.

Nicole: Yep. Great, great, great advice. And I know I didn't ask you in the questions beforehand, but now realizing that you also have a background in nutrition as well. Are there any nutrition recommendations that you have for pregnant or postpartum folks?

MacKenzie: Yes, of course. So my, my main advice would be to focus on the well-balanced. We want all of the macronutrients, we want proteins, carbs, fat, they all have their purpose in our nutrition plan. Um, so as long as your doctor has okayed it, as long as you don't have any other complications, you know, it's important to focus on getting everything, keep those whole grains, lean proteins and lots of vegetables in your diet, as well as some fruits. And that will really help overall with your energy levels as well.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I know sometimes it can be hard to manage your nutrition during pregnancy. And I think it's also another area to give yourself some grace and do the best. Oh, of course

MacKenzie: You can. If you want, if you want the, the dessert eat the dessert, you are growing a human, but it's about that balance for sure.

Nicole: Yes. Balance is always, always key, whether you're pregnant or not actually balance is always key in what we're putting in our body and realizing how we're nourishing ourselves. So just, just to wrap up, I ask everyone these, these questions. What is the most frustrating part of your work?

MacKenzie: Are you also gonna ask me the most rewarding?

Nicole: I am.

MacKenzie: Okay. So I think that it it's the, the same answer for both.

Nicole: Oh, interesting. This is the first time I heard somebody say this, so yeah, let's hear it.

MacKenzie: So the most frustrating part of my work, as well as the most rewarding part of my work is that I exercise and promote good nutrition for a living. And it has to do with that bounce back culture that we talked about earlier as to why it's the most frustrating. Um, I feel a lot of pressure to get back to exactly where I was in January of 2021. Before I found out that I was pregnant. I feel a ton of pressure to be back working out two times a day, some days working out, you know, at least five days a week to, to get back to that exact weight, that exact size and all of these things, but that's not ideal whenever I just gave birth three months ago. Right. Um, but at the same time, that's the most rewarding part of my work because I get to focus on something that's really important to me, which is healthy nutrition and exercising and fitness and incorporating those to give me a great, healthy well-balanced lifestyle. And that's really rewarding because I get to focus on that for myself, but also encourage other people to live a healthy lifestyle, which is super important and super rewarding to me to be able to make a difference

Nicole: A hundred percent. I like that. I like that. And I can totally see how it can be both the most rewarding and frustrating part of your work, the same thing for sure. So then last thing, what's your favorite piece of advice and you may have already said it before. So if you said it before, you can say it again, but what's your favorite piece of advice that you like to give to pregnant or postpartum mamas who are thinking about exercising?

MacKenzie: It goes back to listening to your body. I want you to move your body and I want you to, you know, have that well-balanced nutrition plan. But I also want you to give yourself a lot of grace because it is the most rewarding thing to become a mom or, you know, to add another child to your family. But it's also the hardest thing. So listen to your body, trust your gut, go with your instinct. And I know that you can do it because I did it, but just make sure that you are trusting the process.

Nicole: Love it, love it, love it. Well, thank you so much, MacKenzie, for agreeing to come on the podcast, where can people connect with more information about, um, you or 9 round?

MacKenzie: Yes. So, um, I do work for the 9 Round world headquarters. Um, so if you want to check out the on demand platform, that's 9 Round Now and I am one of the trainers on there. If you have a local 9 Round studio, you could always go there, they're each individually owned. Um, but I, I help with programming workouts as well as the nutrition content that comes out for 9 Round. So that's a great way to connect with the work that I do. Um, I also have a personal Instagram account and that is just Kenzie grace underscore nine seven. And so that is where you can find me on social media.

Nicole: Awesome. Well, thank you so much again, this was some really useful information and I know you are going to help someone on their exercise journey.

MacKenzie: Thank you so much for having me

Nicole: All right. Wasn't that a great conversation, really informative. I appreciate MacKenzie coming on and sharing her advice and experience. Now, after every episode where I have a guest on, I do something called Dr. Nicole's Notes, where I talk about my top takeaways from the episode through the lens of me being a board certified practicing OBGYN, who's been in practice for a long time and helped lots of babies into this world 15 years and over a thousand. So let's get into Dr. Nicole's Notes from my conversation with MacKenzie, number one, being fit don't get me wrong, will 100% help you during your pregnancy its certainly is not going to hurt you, but it is not a guarantee that birth will suddenly be easy. Okay? There's no guarantee that being fit is going to make your birth easy. So don't do that in the anticipation that that's what's gonna happen, cuz that's just not the case.

Nicole: Now, speaking of being fit, I don't want you to focus on like having some specific body type or, or anything like that. I really just want you to focus during pregnancy on moving your body. It doesn't have to be crazy. It doesn't have to be excessive. You don't have to be sweating like crazy. It's just move your body, get out and walk, do some prenatal yoga. Um, it doesn't have to be things that or complicated. I just want you to focus on moving your body, just moving your body makes a huge difference. Not only for your physical health, but also for your mental health as well. Okay. Note number two is you can do everything right and still have things come up because pregnancy is an unpredictable process. MacKenzie was very fit yet she still developed hypertension during pregnancy. Some things are just out of your control.

Nicole: Um, again, birth is unpredictable and we don't know what will always happen. Now. Obviously I'm not saying don't bother getting fit because you never know, you know what might happen. Of course you should still try to take the best care of your yourself that you can, but know that you can still do everything right. And still things may, may pop up. So the key and that goes to point, number three is being able to control the things that you can control. Okay? Control the things that you can control. You can't control whether or not you will develop preeclampsia you or whether or not your baby will have issues with growth or whether or not the heart rate tracing will look crazy. And you know, a C-section is recommended those aren't things that you can control. But what you can control is your activity level. You can control how prepared you are going into birth, how knowledgeable you are about things going into birth.

Nicole: That part you can, 100% completely control. That's where childbirth education plays a role and is so important. It allows you to control the things that you can control, which is being prepared and informed going into your birth. Of course, the Birth Preparation Course is a fantastic option to do that, to get you calm, confident, and empowered, get you everything you need to know to be ready to advocate for yourself during your birth and, and ride those potential waves of unpredictability. You can check out the Birth Preparation Course. That's my online childbirth education class. So drnicolerankins.com/enroll. Okay. And then the final thing I said this during the conversation, but I'm gonna say it again, like the whole bounce back, just we need to like, you know, F that like just don't that bouncing back the culture, you know, people on Instagram snapping photos, three seconds after birth, like, no, please don't, don't buy into that or think you have to do that.

Nicole: Run your own race, get back to your new, I should, I shouldn't say get back to normal, but get to your new normal, cuz your body's gonna change after you grew a human being. That's just the reality of it. Take your time. Don't feel like you have to bounce back snap back or anything like that. Um, seriously like F that. Okay, so there you have it. Do me a favor, share this podcast with a friend. If you like it also subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcast or wherever you're listening to me right now. And I'd love it. If you leave a review for me in Apple Podcast so I can see what you think. It also helps us show to grow and do check out the resource that I mentioned the class Make A Birth Plan The Right Way. That's drnicolerankins.com/register and the Birth Preparation Course. That's drnicolerankins.com/enroll. So that is it for this episode to come on back next week. And remember you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.

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