Insights with Betina Gozo on health & fitness during pregnancy
In our latest Insights Series, we’re discussing ways in which you can stay fit and healthy during pregnancy with Betina Gozo. Betina shares her personal experience during her second pregnancy with exercise and keeping her healthy routine, while also diving into creating a healthy lifestyle for her kids.
Congrats on baby #2! How has your pregnancy experience been the second time around?
It’s so funny how the first time around, I spent the majority of my time reading baby books and looking at all the apps reading every detail about my pregnancy and baby’s growth. This time around, I barely even know what week of the pregnancy I’m in! Lol! There is a sense of confidence that I feel this time around since it is so fresh, but it’s also really challenging to keep up with life with a toddler under 2 years old running around. It’s so fun though, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Physically, I feel like everything happened so much faster. I showed earlier, and my first trimester symptoms subsided quicker, which was great!
As a renowned fitness expert, and a new mama, what’s one piece of advice you would give to expecting women trying to stay healthy and fit during their pregnancy?
Give yourself grace, especially during the first trimester! During my first pregnancy, I was very confused on WHY I couldn’t workout, and it frustrated me at times. This is even as a certified prenatal fitness specialist! But it’s so important to remember that during that first trimester, there are SO many changes happening that your body is trying to work through, and IT WILL GET BETTER! It may not be right away into your second trimester, but once you do feel better, take that burst of energy and try to get back into a routine of working out! During your first trimester, do your best to get up and at least go for an easy walk here and there…it will make you feel better!
You emphasize strength training in your work, why is strength important for pregnant women?
There are so many changes happening in a woman’s body during pregnancy, from hormones, center of gravity changes, and more! Building and maintaining strength is a great way to help combat some of those aches and pains as your body changes, but also helps keep you strong to move freely and comfortably. Plus, when your baby gets here, you have a ton of responsibilities that your body has to manage: like carrying car seats and diaper bags, and of course, your baby!!!
What was your personal exercise routine like during your first, second and third trimesters?
For both pregnancies, my first trimester consisted of tons of naps! I made sure to get outside for a walk, and I prioritized working out when I did feel good, which was only 2-3 days a week! When I did have a burst of energy, I would take advantage of it and do a good strength workout with a little bit of conditioning at the end! During my second trimester, I would continue my strength routines and get a workout in about 3-5 times a week! Third trimester workouts were scarce, and consisted of 1-2 strength workouts a week, with TONS of walking and dancing! I just wanted to keep moving and be on my feet. During my first pregnancy, I was working full time with Apple Fitness+, so my workouts would consist of filming multiple times a week.
What postpartum exercises would you recommend for new moms, and how soon should they start back up again?
I am very passionate about women getting rid of the “bouncing back” narrative.You have to remember all of the changes that happen in your body in 10 months, and then labor is an incredible journey in itself! So first and foremost, I’d like to say you need to throw away any expectation of bouncing back within the first year!!!! You should always wait to get clearance from your doctor or midwives before you workout again, BUT you have to keep in mind that exercise itself is out of their scope of practice. The most important thing to do postpartum is to reconnect your breath to your core and pelvic floor. A lot of women can do breath work even before being cleared by their healthcare provider! The pressure and changes in your pelvic floor and abs have done a lot in the time you were pregnant and went through labor. I always recommend all postpartum women to see pelvic floor therapists if they can! Some women don’t start working out until 6-8 weeks after giving birth (after they have been cleared by their healthcare provider), but some wait even longer! It’s important to give yourself grace and remind yourself of all the changes that have happened in your body, as well as adjusting to your new life as a mother!
You’ve talked about the importance of life/work balance, do you have any advice for new or expecting parents looking for balance in their own lives?
Learn how to ask and accept help! If you have a partner on this journey with you, make sure that you are always communicating with them on what you need and when you need time for yourself. As a couple, make sure you get time with each other and not make everything about the baby, make the investment to have a babysitter or have your friends/family help so you can get time for yourselves! Remind yourself how important it is to show up for YOURSELF so that you can show up as the best version of YOU for your kiddos!
What are your top tips to keep kids active?
BE THE EXAMPLE. If you model the behavior, your children will follow. Also, make it fun!
Tips for starting a positive conversation with kids about exercising and staying active?
I really believe this starts with the conversation that you have with yourself around exercising and staying active! In my industry, I see some people referring to exercise as a chore and as something that has to do with being skinny or strictly about losing weight. Working out should be about feeling good and staying healthy for longevity! If you can talk about exercise like that to yourself, that messaging will translate easily to your kiddos!
Betina Gozo is a prenatal fitness specialist, social media influencer, and mother who focuses on creating healthy habits for herself and family. You can learn more about Betina through her Instagram handle @betinagozo.
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