We recently had the chance to catch up with Fernanda Haaz. Fernanda has been a member at DISTRICT Wandsworth a few years now and had not one, but two babies during that time! We got Coach Simon to talk to Fernanda as we wanted to find out first hand what her experience of training at DISTRICT was whilst being pregnant, and doing CrossFit while having two babies!

Simon – You have been at district around 3 years and had 2 babies while continuing to train much of the time. You are now back with us and it’s great to have you back. How have you found training at district in general during this period?

Fernanda – It’s been really good. So, when I started I came from Mexico. I didn’t really know anyone, so it has given me the chance to meet new people. In general, the training has been really great and I can really see the improvement over the 3 years. Obviously my improvement has gone back a little with each pregnancy but in general the training has been great!

Simon – how have you found the coaches approach towards your training while pregnant? And how was it being in a group but haven’t different needs to the class during that time?

Fernanda – The coaches were super helpful with everything, I felt like I didn’t have to worry about looking into things too much. Of course I did, I wanted to know what I was doing, and make sure I wasn’t doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. But in general you guys were on top of everything, giving me the best advice all the time.

Simon – What do you think training while going through pregnancies has done for you and your overall well-being? Either mentally or physically? How are you feeling now? And I know it’s difficult to tell, because you have trained, but how do you think you might have felt had you stopped training earlier or not trained at all?

Fernanda – I can compare with my two pregnancies, with Isabella I trained for around 7 months but then stopped, I was really sore, more in pain, it was much harder. Whereas this time I trained pretty much until the end. I just felt so much better generally, of course with normal pains and pregnancy things but it really helped me to stay active. Also my mental health, to have something else to focus on.

Simon – How have you found coming back into the class environment after your babies and what has been most challenging?

Fernanda – With my first pregnancy I waited a bit longer and wasn’t coming as much. But this time I’ve come back quicker, and I think it has really helped my recovery. Before I stopped to have the baby this time I was still coming 4 or 5 times a week.

Simon – was it much easier this time?

Fernanda – I think this time it’s just been great to be back. The first time the hardest part was getting organised with the baby, I was more worried about ‘what if she cries during the session, what if she causes a problem’ I had never done anything like this before. This time I know I’ve done it before.

Simon – What was it like the first time round when Isabella was crying etc?

Fernanda – It was ok. It was pre COVID, the coaches would offer to hold her and help.. but also everyone in the class was really understanding, no dirty looks or ‘shut that baby up’ or anything. Now I know if she cries, I will just deal with it. The coaches and members were so supportive though. But definitely the hardest bit was getting organised, getting out of the house etc. This time all that feels easier, but also because I trained right up to giving birth I feel almost back to normal! I know I shouldn’t push it too much but it feels good. It almost feels more like a few weeks off and I’m back. I thought it would feel weird or difficult but everything feels pretty normal.

Simon – What was the motivation to keep training throughout your pregnancy?

Fernanda – I had a really long labour with Isabella and I felt maybe if I keep training and keep going it will be easier. As I kept training I kept feeling well and I think the training was really helping. And also on the mental side, being at home with a child can be difficult, so being able to get out of the house, do some exercise and see people, and interact with them is a big thing?

I also don’t know how people who are unfit do it. Pregnancy is really challenging, you feel really heavy, achy, and I know I’m not the fittest person in the world but you can just tell that you are fit and it must be so much harder if you are unfit as it is a lot for your body.

Simon – There was a couple of other pregnant moms to be at the gym during your second pregnancy, how was it training alongside them?

Fernanda – It was really nice to see them training as well and not being the only one. It was also nice as we were at different stages so it was also great to see how each other were doing at that stage of their pregnancies.

Simon – if you had to sum up how it’s been, being pregnant, doing CrossFit, training at District and then coming back after having your babies what would be the overwhelming feelings or thoughts?

Fernanda – Do it! One of the best decisions for my pregnancies and for after the babies were born. You are always going to feel tired having a baby and after, but you just feel strong. I feel stronger. Doing all the things you need to do during pregnancy and after is so much easier.

Simon – Have you got any thoughts or advice for any other moms to be or new moms regarding training and coming to classes, either at district or elsewhere?

Fernanda – If you do any type of exercise I think you should keep going during pregnancy. I think a lot of people see pregnancy as an illness and it’s not. People try to tell you ‘Oh don’t life anything heavy, don’t do this or that’ but it’s not an illness and it’s much better for you to keep doing what you are doing. Whether you do CrossFit, or Yoga, or whatever it is keep going. Scale things obviously and listen to your doctor and coaches, but in general it’s great for you and your baby! I also think CrossFit has been amazing because of the way the other members and coaches have been. I couldn’t go to a normal gym, I couldn’t take the buggy in, no one would offer to help hold the baby, or wait for me to do what I needed. Everyone has been so supportive.

If you can train and your doctor says its ok, then do it!

Thanks so much for talking to us, Fernanda – and if you have any questions of your own around this topic then please feel free to reach out to us!