A tale of a new LotteBerk mum’s pregnancy-advice fit for a Duchess
Hooray! A brand new Royal due in a matter of weeks and with that a plethora of advice for the Duchess of Cambridge who it is rumoured hopes to have a natural birth.
Unfortunately it does not matter how much you prepare for the birth of a child/future monarch you cannot prepare your birth canal for the unthinkable and you cannot prepare your stomach for an emergency Caesarian.
However, one certainty is you can brace your legs, particularly your thighs, for what could be hours of squatting or the most imaginative contortions. There are moments of labour I strive to forget, nonetheless it was helpful I had the capability after years of Lotte Berk classes to put one leg in a near impossible position and sustain it. Do not underestimate how helpful it is to simply be ‘bendy’ under these extreme conditions when only moulding yourself into bizarre positions will alleviate the pain.
The Lotte Berk Method was fantastic as I was able to manage the exercises throughout my pregnancy, albeit with a few small alterations. The overwhelming body changes over the nine months are unavoidable but there is something re-assuring to know mentally- at least you are doing something and also, damage limitation. Unfortunately gone are the days when you could swathe yourself in a Laura Ashley tent-smock and everyone would say how ravishing you looked, now, you wear Gap maternity skinny jeans and a caffeine-free latte and people gasp at the neatness of your bump. No pressure.
I was alarmed how my upper arms began to store fat during pregnancy but realised this was an area I could work on with specific exercises. Few heavily pregnant women feel or are capable of high impact exercise during the last few weeks when a walk to Waitrose seems a bit of an exertion. I will admit at around 37 weeks I was watching hours of shameful, mind-numbing daytime television and eating too much mashed potato but consoled myself that I was at least doing some Lotte leg exercises using the back of a chair as a barre.
Although alas, I would not claim to be one of them- many Lotte pupils manage to keep a magnificently pert bottom throughout their pregnancy. The sort of gravity-defying, turgid derriere those not carrying a 4 kilo wriggling child would be very pleased with. Some pupils also claim their pelvic floor and hip joints were more primed for birth after stomach and floor exercises perfected in the Fulham Road studio. There is no reason to stop exercising during pregnancy and every reason to make sure you strengthen the body parts that will help you carry a child, give birth and the bewildering months that follow.
Next, putting everything back in its rightful place… watch this space!