Jemima Dubif is a Doctor in the Royal Navy currently on maternity leave. I was amazed to hear Jemima say she was fitter 8 months after the birth of her baby than ever before. So I asked her a few questions:
How fit were you during your pregnancy? I was able to exercise 4 times a week. As my pregnancy progressed the intensity of exercise did reduce, but I was still able to do light exercise up until 38 weeks. I felt it was important to exercise, not only to keep my weight gain at a healthy amount, but also for my own self-esteem and confidence.
How soon did you start exercising after the birth? I began introducing exercise with the SE Fitness buggy walk when my baby was six weeks old. I initially saw it as a reason to leave the house as this proved quite difficult at times. It quickly became a way of regaining my fitness and shredding some of the baby weight I had acquired. I gradually increased my walking sessions to three times a week. By the time Laila was 4 months old, I decided to try the beginners running group. My goals for exercise had changed. I now wanted to tone up and improve my fitness ready for my return to active duty later in the year. I found my fitness returned quite quickly – running 2 times a week I was soon moving up the groups as my pace & distance increased.
How do you feel now? I feel aerobically fitter and healthier than ever before. Having a baby and breastfeeding changed the way I viewed my body and my self-esteem took a hit. By returning to running and successfully improving my fitness, my body shape has returned to its pre-pregnancy state and so has my self-esteem.
How do you feel about going back to the navy? I felt amazing fitting back into my uniform comfortably and I have Sally to thank for this. Her encouragement and motivation have really pushed me. I am excited and apprehensive about the new challenges that lie ahead, not only as a working mother, but also as a Doctor in the Royal Navy.