What does a prenatal exercise routine actually look like? It depends on whom you ask. If you look to TV and movies, the most exercise a typical pregnant woman gets is basically lifting the pickles and ice cream from bowl to mouth (insert eyeroll emoji here). If you check the fitnessy corners of Instagram, prenatal workouts are intense and impressive AF. And if you happen to be pregnant and ask your doctor about working out, she may just give you some vague advice about doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and avoiding contact sports.
Not super helpful, eh? The reality, of course, is that every pregnancy is different, and the degree to which you're comfortable working out is no exception. For some people, pregnancy means cutting way back on their usual weightlifting regimen — whether by choice or because an unexpected condition pops up that requires it. Others may need to push themselves to walk around the neighborhood a little more. And for some, being pregnant may end up having almost no impact on their workouts.
As with so many other parenting-related issues, what works best is really up to you — but it can also helpful to hear from real people who've been there. Ahead, we've collected stories from 10 women about how their workouts changed during pregnancy. Their variety is a great reminder that what matters more than whether or not you're able to keep up your streak of PRs is that you stay healthy and feel as good as possible. And whether or not you're doing okay with that is only up to you and your doctor.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.