Working out when pregnant and Latched maternity workout clothes review

When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things that was really important to me was staying active.

Of course I’ve never been pregnant before. I had no idea how pregnancy would play out for my body. I followed a few running mums and saw from their experiences that there was very little you had control over and sometimes (or often-times) your body just said “no, I’m too busy growing a baby here”. So I didn’t set my expectations too high. I would continue to exercise (run and strength train) for as long as my body allowed me but I would always prioritise the baby’s health above everything (as any mother-to-be would I’m sure).

I’m therefore so lucky, grateful and happy that I have been very active throughout my pregnancy without any real discomfort or issue. The only problem I had was a running niggle that cropped up in my calf around week 32 which took me out of running for over two weeks. But I can’t be certain pregnancy had anything to do with this. Afterall, I am a notoriously injury-prone runner so maybe this was just par for the course after so long of not having any niggles or injuries.

I didn’t suffer from any great hip, pelvic or back pain and running wasn’t uncomfortable. That said, it wasn’t “peak” comfort like when I’m not pregnant. I weigh more, my centre of gravity has changed and if the little man is in an awkward position or low it can add pressure which doesn’t feel amazing. And of course the feeling of needing a wee throughout the run can be distracting. But in general there was no pain and no aches that made me not enjoy the run (except for the dreaded run where I had Braxton Hicks which was awful, but thankfully that hasn’t happened again).

Of course I was slower. Straight away almost a minute slower per mile – sometimes less, sometimes a lot more. I had to adapt a few things; no more evening or lunchtime runs because I wouldn’t have the energy (morning was my most energy-filled time) and to be super careful about hydration and over-heating. I also had to be conscious of my running form to ensure I didn’t slouch over or pull too far back to overcompensate for my bump.

One of my main issues was what to wear. This wasn’t a huge issue for quite a big chunk of the pregnancy because my bump didn’t pop until later into my second trimester. I could still fit into clothes but later as I would start running I had the dreaded Rachel Green effect of my belly peeping out under my t-shirts. This meant I had to constantly drag down my top during the run.

Amazingly a wonderful company called Latched offered me some maternity workout gear to try out which came at perfect timing. I’d been following Latched on Instagram and loved their gear so I was super excited. I was sent a pair of leggings, a long sleeved top, a sports bra and a pair of shorts.

The leggings are a gorgeous blue colour and fit so well over my bump! I was getting to the awkward stage with my current non-maternity leggings that I was stretching them over my bump or they were awkwardly sitting just below my bump, which wasn’t entirely comfortable.

But the leggings were fantastic. The high-waisted section covered my bump nicely and kept me well supported. The fit was lovely and  flattering, they didn’t go see-through when I squatted and the material was lovely.

The sports bra,  firstly looks gorgeous. Love the design. Secondly it fitted so well – my boobs have gotten so much bigger and it’s definitely been something I’ve now had to be careful about. Pre-pregnancy my boobs were quite small but now  I definitely have to make sure they’re better supported! This sports bra definitely does that. And they have the ability to be cross-back or just regular straps, which I like. As well as having a nursing feature too so later on you can breast feed  easily in this. Perfect!

The long-sleeved top was perfect for running as it was long enough to cover my growing bump and it was lovely and warm during those super cold weeks a couple of  months ago.

The material didn’t make me feel claustrophobic or sweaty and kept me at a nice temperature. And no need to continually pull it down!

And my favourite… the shorts. They are INCREDIBLE for running (and strength training, and walking!). The high-waisted section covers my bump completely and keeps it feeling fairly secure without restrictive (anything that presses on my bladder during a run is a horrible feeling!) So even if I wore a top that wasn’t maternity so sat slightly above the bottom of my bump I was well covered by the shorts. This hugely helped options of clothing for running!

The shorts didn’t ride up and the bump bit didn’t slip down, so this was perfect. They’re super flattering and even have pockets!

So all in all, I’m a big fan of Latched. Their clothing is such good quality, flattering and comfortable. I’ll definitely still wear these items post-partum and beyond too. I fully recommend getting some items if you’re pregnant and wanting to continue to be active.

I really hope to continue being active right until the end, but we’ll see. I’m running less (a couple of 5ks and maybe a longer run at the weekend) but walking evey day and strength training 2-3 times a week. I’m really enjoying it and find it hugely helps my comfort level and my mental well-being. So fingers crossed it continues!

If you’ve been pregnant, were you active during your pregnancy?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the items from Latched for free in exchange for some Instagram content**

36 weeks pregnant – and our baby shower!

So I’m at week 36 of my pregnancy.

How’s it all been going? Well I’ve been really very lucky. My pregnancy, so far (touch wood!), has been fairly easy going. The first trimester was a terrible slog of nausea and exhaustion, but that lasted maybe 5 or 6 weeks? So in the grand scheme of things, I’ve been very fortunate.

I haven’t had any major back or hip pain as of yet. And my energy levels have been very good – despite some terrible night’s sleeps. In terms of symptoms currently, I still get very congested in the evenings. I get heartburn if I eat too late or too much (two things I’m quite bad at). And I have nights where I wake up at 3 or 4am and just lay there wide awake, but I tend to read and wait until my body wants to go back to sleep – and weirdly I don’t feel too bad during the day (maybe training my body to get by with less sleep…). And just generally getting up off the sofa and rolling over in bed are hard work. But other than that, I feel fantastic.

From a running perspective, things were going really well until for whatever reason my right calf started playing up at the end of week 32. Perhaps it was a combination of my new trainers and my changing body (weight gain, pelvic position, relaxin hormone loosening everything, etc.), who knows. But basically it started bugging me on a long run – just a bit of tightness, nothing major. Then when I went for another run a few days later it definitely got worse and I found I was limping slightly afterwards and it had started to bug my hamstring and a little bit in my back.

So I did the very sensible thing of taking some time off (18 days). It made sense with going to Newquay to take the time off anyway. Then when I attempted to run again it still bugged me so I had a couple of acupuncture appointments to ease the tension. It definitely helped. I then tried a 5k run which, while not perfect, was far better than before.

I’ve since seen a chiropractor too which, regardless of my injury, I wanted to have to keep me in optimal condition before the birth. Lots of people had recommend that it can help align you and make things a bit easier later.

The appointment was fantastic. She said my pelvis was slightly twisted and my ankle was locked up, which was probably contributing to my running issues. So she “re-aligned” me and I’ve got a second follow-up appointment next week. What I loved about the appointment was that she had a giant pillow with a bump shaped hole in so I could lie on my front without squashing the baby. It felt amazing!

Since then I’ve just been sticking to 5ks. The discomfort is still there but not nearly as bad and it doesn’t get worse during or after so I’ll take that! I’m just so grateful to still be able to run in some capacity so far along in my pregnancy. Of course I know I’ll need to give it up when I give birth and recover sensibly (I don’t want to do any long term damage to myself and let’s be honest, I’m going to be shattered!). For now I’d just love to continue running while I still can. While I have no major responsibilities like keeping a baby alive basically, haha!

And in more exciting news, at the weekend Kyle and I had our baby shower! I was so excited about it and it didn’t disappoint. Kyle’s sisters, Laura and Lucy, were incredible and arranged the whole thing.

The glam-mas to be

I knew the date but nothing else. It was honestly so so lovely. I had so many of my friends and family there. Luckily we had EXACTLY 30 people and it was in my parent’s garden so we didn’t break  any COVID rules either. Though I would have loved to have invited some of my friend’s partners, but we just didn’t have the numbers sadly. I’m a big believer in baby showers not being just a female thing.

We had a few games, lots of food, cake and, after a bit of a cloudy start, sunshine!

I had such a good day. We also asked if people wanted to buy us gifts to buy us reusable nappies as this is the route we’re taking with our little man. I just hate the idea of all those disposable nappies on landfill for 500+ years.

We got some lovely gifts in the end (some nappies and some other items – I don’t think people entirely got our memo haha). Regardless it was just so lovely to receive so many lovely gifts and to spend time with all my favourite people in one afternoon (tho sadly a few people couldn’t make it – tho this helped with keeping COVID compliant).

So all in all, I’m feeling very loved, very comfortable and very happy!

Did you have a baby shower if you’ve got children?

Have you ever seen a chiropractor?

An exciting baby moon in Cornwall

So Kyle and I recently returned from our final holiday before the baby comes (our baby moon if you will, though I do hate that term).

We were to Newquay in Cornwall for four days and had such a fantastic time. When we booked the holiday a number of months ago (as soon as we heard about the lockdown easing milestones) I didn’t consider I’d be 34 weeks pregnant and needing to drive over 4 hours to get there! Kyle sadly can’t drive (he rides a motorbike) so it was down to me to get us there.

34 weeks pregnant bump update

But as we got closer and the realisation dawned, we just planned a nice and easy drive up there. No rush, lots of stops and a nice lunch planned in Bournemouth in the Duck – a very Anna-Kyle style restaurant serving burgers and chicken wings.

It was actually a very pleasant journey up and the lunch stop was very nice! The food was insanely good and we almost considered going there on the way back (we decided against it for health and financial reasons haha). I had a large bucket of buffalo chicken wings (which I shared with Kyle as honestly my stomach capacity is so disappointing compared to pre-pregnancy Anna).  I also had frickles and chips. Though the chips had no chance of fitting in! The frickles were delicious though.

The holiday itself was WONDERFUL. On the first day (my personal favourite, for reasons that will become clear) we decided to walk around Newquay and explore a bit. We were staying in a lovely apartment just a stone’s throw from Fistral Beach, a popular surfing location. It was early and barely anyone was on the beach asides from a few dog walkers and it was beautiful and clear – and thankfully warm!

Kyle suggested we set up one of our phone cameras as a video so we could get a nice photo of us with the beach background, and do a few funny poses that we could screenshot after. I love doing this sort of thing so for Kyle to suggest it was quite nice and I happily set it up.

After the iPhone was mounted on a nearby rock Kyle said he just needed to grab his sunglasses from my rucksack that was on my back. I didn’t think twice about this (though in retrospect does seem odd as Kyle never wears sunglasses, and when did he put them in a my bag? Why was he taking so long?). Eventually he said he’d got them and I turned back around to the camera to pose with him. But he turned to me and said “You know I love you, Anna” and whipped out a little black box… and got down on one knee and proposed!!

Well, to say I was shocked was an understatement. I was definitely not expecting that! Of course I said yes 🙂 And as we hugged, kissed and laughed together I suddenly realised that Kyle had managed to get me to film my own proposal!

Such a gorgeous ring

How sneaky haha. But how lovely for us to have that video. It was a very cute watch. And our family and friends could watch it too 🙂

Well, the rest of the day was very much us walking around on cloud nine and chatting about how many months he’d planning it, how he’d custom designed the ring, how our entire family knew it was happening…

After he proposed to went into this lovely café called Sea Spray just on the side of the cliffs of Fistral Beach and as we got a table I blurted to the waitress, “I’m engaged!” and we got to share with her our lovely proposal story. She was very happy for us. We actually came back to that café for lunch later as it had such a beautiful view and the food was delicious and the whole café congratulated us 🙂

The rest of the holiday was filled with lots of lovely daytrips. My parents were actually holidaying nearby in Devon funnily enough so we met up in Port Isaac for a mosey around and a lovely lunch in the School House. I won’t lie, ploughman’s was definitely my meal of choice during the holiday.

When else can you eat a huge chunk of cheese so brazenly eh! Most of my lunches though had to have a portion of chunky chips though as this is something I’ve been craving for a number of weeks now. Just plain, hot salty chips – perfection. So bizarre as before pregnancy I rarely fancied chips and if I did they had to have loads of toppings or ketchup.

My parents were actually looking after Alfie for us so we got to see him as well, which was lovely as I missed him.

Port Isaac

We also visited Padstow and St. Ives. Such beautiful coastal towns with lots of little boutique shops, tea rooms and pubs. And so many people commented on my bump and asked when we were due and what we were having. Something I’d been missing as we’d been in lockdown most of my pregnancy. I’ve definitely craved that human interaction.

St. Ives

It was such a lovely time off and time spent with Kyle (and the day with my family and Alfie of course). I’d felt so stressed at work (perfect on the lead-up to my maternity leave, eh!) so this was exactly what I needed.

So a very memorable and wonderful holiday – our last one before the little man arrives!

Have you ever been to Cornwall?

Do you like a Ploughman’s lunch?

Three Secrets Of People Who Actually Love To Work Out

I’m currently away and loving the baby moon in Newquay but have a great little post for you today.

There are always two types of people at the gym – those who love life (and exercise,) and those who most definitely don’t. While the former group will usually leave with just a light sheen of sweat and a satisfied endorphin-inspired grin, the latter will usually be so exhausted by the end of their session that they collapse in a sweat-covered heap. 

It’s an undeniable injustice in life and, if you’re on the floor after a gym session, you might wish you could crush those smug faces under the weights you aren’t even close to lifting. We get it; when you’re struggling to breathe on the treadmill, enjoyment can feel so far away that you’d laugh if you could. But, the reality is that there’s no scientific reason why those people love to exercise and you don’t. Rather, the difference comes in a few surprisingly simple secrets that those avid gym bunnies keep up their sleeves. Here, we’re going to consider a few such secrets to, hopefully, turn you into an exercise convert at long last. 

Picture Credit: CC0 Licence

Secret 1 – Testing the field

No one would turn around and say that they hate all films after one bad experience, yet it’s amazing how many of us do the same after one exercise attempt. In reality, though, there are as many different types of exercise as there are film genres, and enjoyment across each varies just as much. Often, then, the difference between those who love exercise and those who don’t is as simple as the fact that the former group has tested the workout field and found the exercise 100% suited to their lifestyle, capabilities, and requirements. 

Secret 2 – Looking after their bodies

You’re never going to love exercise if it leaves you sore for days, but that’s exactly what will happen if you don’t take the proper care. Naturally, then, those who embrace exercise with open arms also typically take pains to look after their bodies and recognise their cut-off points. These individuals especially make room for recovery and always take pains to buy protein powder online or in-store before a big session to avoid that post-workout sting. This can keep them higher on post-workout endorphins for longer, as well as ensuring that they’re fresh and raring to go when they do get back to it.

Secret 3 – Setting bold goals

Anyone looking to get more from their workouts needs to set clear goals, ensuring that they feel the satisfaction of their progress, and giving them increased motivation. For exercise-lovers, it’s especially important to set bold goals that threaten comfort zones and set up a fun challenge. By comparison, hitting the gym with no goal, or goals that fail to push you, is really an inevitable path towards lacklustre exercise efforts that most definitely won’t bring the same buzz.

So, there you have it – there’s no untenable secret as to why some people love working out. It seems that, truly, overcoming the exercise hump is all about knowledge, motivation, and a little sprinkle of post-workout endorphins.

Do you enjoy exercising?

Do you like to have goals?

32 weeks pregnant

So I’m now 33 weeks pregnant and thought I’d recap how it’s been going in the last week.

It’s a weird place to be because I’m both super impatient and want to be at least 37 weeks pregnant already but also the impending lack of sleep is a concern. I’m enjoying the freedom we still have. The luxury of a weekend and getting to do whatever we want whenever we want and leaving the house within two minutes and not worrying about anything other than have we got our masks and locked the door.

That will change when the baby arrives. I mean I don’t have much experience other than what I’ve been told, seen and read about having a baby but I think my assumptions aren’t crazy and wild to think that life is going to become a bit more complicated at least! Sleeping in until 8am after having a solid 10 hours sleep is going to be a distant memory soon. So perhaps wishing these weeks along quickly may not be the wisest thing!

Anyway, how’s  it going?

So I’m still running as much as I want to. Even typing this is a bit mad to me as I truly thought by this point I’d be doing maybe a few 5ks here and there and potentially run/walking. However I’m still able to run my two weekly 7 milers and a longer run (11-12 miles) at the weekend.

It still feels good. Of course I have harder days and easier days but generally it’s good. I haven’t had any more Braxton Hicks interrupting my running but I’m still needing to stop for a wee at least once during my seven miler and up to three times for my longer runs.

It’s a very annoying sensation to need a wee for most of the run and I’ve sort of learnt when it’s a true wee or when the baby is in an awkward position.

I’m loving my running so much that I’m very grateful to be continuing my running so far into this pregnancy. I have no expectations about pace but generally I’m sitting 9min/miles on very energetic days to 9.45-10min/miles on tougher days. But either way I don’t really care. I stop a few times, whether for the loo, to take photos or to stretch and that definitely helps.

On the longer runs Kyle joins with a hydration pack so I don’t get dehydrated. Though the cooler weather has definitely helped with that. This time last year I might have been struggling a lot more. As I looked ahead at the beginning of the pregnancy I thought I’d be really struggling with the heat but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure that’ll change soon (and to be honest, I’d quite like warmer sunnier days so I can wear my maternity shorts and dresses more!).

The nursery is getting there. Kyle built the furniture and we’ve added little bits and pieces to make it a lovely space. We still have a lot more to do, like washing all the clothes and putting them away, putting pictures and shelves up, but I’m feeling a lot less stressed that it’s on its way.

It’s hard to really know what we need to buy now or wait to see if we need. We’re planning to do re-usable nappies so I need to do a lot more learning and figuring my way with that as well. It’s exciting but terrifying all at once!

In terms of food, we’ve had some great bits and pieces. We went to Stansted House again and had a lovely lunch sat outside in the sunshine with our family.

I had a very tasty goat’s cheese salad followed by a cream and jam scone.

Kyle and I had a lovely walk a couple of weeks ago as well like we had a few weeks ago. It was fun to get another photo to see how much had changed!

It’s crazy how things are zooming along and how my bump is a proper “out there” bump now, which I adore. I am really happy and in awe with my body. I feel very content. To be fair, I’ve generally been quite body positive but you never know how pregnancy is going to affect that becuase the changes happen so quickly. But turns out, I love my bump and I love showing it off a bit!

So 33 weeks in and things have been going fairly smoothly still. A bit of random tiredness, some aches, a lot of baby movements (and kicking my ribs!) and reduced stomach capacity (and heart burn!), a few nights of being awake for a few hours in the early hours… but generally fine – touch wood!

Do you like scones with jam and cream or just butter? Or cheese scones?

What’s your favourite cheese for a salad?