We adore fitness mama Brittany Noonan, who shares her personal journey juggling pregnancy, an active toddler and a successful personal fitness business on her beautiful bybrittanynoonan Instagram page. We were lucky enough to have some quality time with Brittany to discover her favourite pregnancy tips.
Congratulations Brittany on your pregnancy! How many weeks pregnant are you?
Thanks so much, I am currently 24 weeks pregnant with our second child.
What are your secrets to keep healthy during pregnancy?
I try to eat well and practice lots of different mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, journaling and some gentle yoga/stretching. I think it’s important to avoid pressuring ourselves as pregnant women to eat a certain way or to do too much, especially in our first trimester when we’re likely hormonal and tired.
Now the first trimester has passed and I’m feeling better and learning to manage my morning sickness, I stay active through exercise at home. I usually do a 20-minute circuit in the mornings: walking, light gym sessions and yoga, to keep my body and mind healthy. I’m also striving for a more balanced diet, including lots of fresh veggies. Nutrition-packed smoothies are another great way to stay healthy. Once again, I think it’s important for pregnant women to avoid putting too much pressure on themselves and that they listen to their bodies, resting and nourishing when they can.
I think it’s also important for pregnant women to look after their mind as well as their bodies, so I practice mindfulness techniques, meditation, reading, and just generally taking time for myself to care and look after my own wellbeing. I’m a mother but I’m also a woman and I cannot pour from an empty cup, so it’s important for me to ensure I’m the most present and happy mother I can be.
We’ve heard that you are a big supporter of probiotics, especially during pregnancy. Can you tell us why?
Probiotics help support a healthy microbiome; that’s all the good bacteria that live in us and on us. One of the main ways they may help is by supporting bacterial diversity in our gut and supporting a healthy immune system.
The Life-Space Probiotic for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding formula contains 15 different strains of beneficial bacteria and is vegetarian friendly. You don’t have to keep them in the fridge and they can be easily transported, which is perfect for me as we do a lot of travelling with our businesses.
I was very interested to read that if you have a family history of eczema, one of the probiotic strains in the Life-Space formula, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, may help reduce the risk of young children developing eczema when taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and then given to a bub for the first two years of their life.
How important is it to you to continue with probiotics once your baby has been born?
Life-Space Probiotic for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding can be taken until I stop breastfeeding. When I wean, I can take Broad Spectrum Probiotic to keep supporting my immune health, while my bub can have the Life-Space Probiotic Powder for Baby from six months to support theirs.
Taking a probiotic will always be very important to me to help support my gut health. I just love that the Life-Space brand has one specifically-designed for different life stages.
What are your top tips for mums to keep fit during pregnancy?
Exercise during pregnancy is generally safe if you have a low-risk pregnancy. It may help prevent extra weight gain or fluid retention; have a positive impact on your mental state; aid with labour, and assist your recovery from either a natural or C-section birth.
You occasionally won’t feel like exercising, which is fine, and it’s also important to rest, but when you feel up to it, make an appointment with yourself and try to stick to it. Finding an exercise you’re capable of and enjoy during pregnancy helps keep you more motivated, whether that be gym sessions, workouts at home, pregnancy Pilates or yoga, or even just walking. My advice for mums would be to find a specialist pregnancy and postpartum fitness trainer to ensure you’re practising safe exercise whilst pregnant and during the post-partum period.
There are different guidelines depending on the stage of your pregnancy, but my own non-negotiables are:
never exercise to maximum cardio or strength training ability;
remove high-impact movements to protect the pelvic floor such as jumping, skipping and plyometric work;
and remove targeted abdominal workouts to protect the abdominal wall and help reduce the severity of any abdominal separation that may occur during pregnancy.
I believe it’s also important for pregnant women to see a women’s health physio to check the pelvic floor, joints and abdominals, and to create a plan to help keep them strong during and after pregnancy.
My final tip would be to avoid comparisons with other pregnant women. Everyone is different and what may be suitable and possible for one woman might not be for the next. It’s easy to get caught up in comparisons, especially online and with social media, but focus on yourself and your own happiness, not what someone else may look like or be able to do. Remember, most of the time you’re just seeing a highlight reel of someone else’s life and they’re only sharing their most flattering photos and good days. This is even more important when looking at pregnant ‘fitness influencers’ online. These women are specialists and spend many hours exercising and focusing on nutrition; it’s their profession.
What is your most unusual pregnancy craving?
I feel like I’m a walking, talking stereotype of a pregnant lady. I’ve been craving dill pickles and olives all day, every day!
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
This article was commissioned by the team at Life-Space. The MoM editorial team compiled this article after working with the team at Life-Space and realising how many mums love high quality, specialist probiotics for every stage of life.