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Kate Ferdinand, who is expecting her first baby, has revealed that she recently tore her stomach muscles and was told to rest for three weeks.
The former TOWIE star, 29, announced earlier this year that she is going to become a mother for the first time, and is soon to welcome a baby boy with her husband, former footballer, Rio Ferdinand.
But the mum-to-be shared on Instagram that her pregnancy has not been entirely plain-sailing, as she had previously torn her stomach muscles and had to rest for three weeks.
During an Instagram Q&A on Tuesday 8 December, Ferdinand told her 1.3 million followers that it had been a “difficult” time.
Sharing a snap of herself showing off her growing bump in a black tube dress Ferdinand responded to a question asking how she was feeling to say she was surprisingly not feeling too bad the last few weeks.
“I’m tired but have been feeling much better,” she wrote.
The soon-to-be mum then explained that her injury had happened weeks earlier: “I tore my stomach muscles six or so weeks ago and was on rest for three weeks.
“I found that really difficult... and my mind was all over the place!”
She continued: “So now I'm just happy and grateful I can be out and walking and doing bits and bobs around the house.”
Later on during the Q&A, Ferdinand told fans that she was still exercising during her pregnancy despite her injury forcing her to take it easy.
Alongside an image of herself in work-out gear in the gym, she wrote: “I have trained for the majority of my pregnancy: Pilates and light gym work.
“But after tearing my muscles I was advised to rest so I did that for three weeks and am now just taking it easy and walking daily as I don't want to damage anything further.
“It is advised to stay active so I'm trying to keep moving as much as possible.”
Watch: Kate Ferdinand works out with a baby bump.
Earlier in her pregnancy, Ferdinand admitted that keeping fit during this time has helped her feel more like herself, crediting her workouts for giving her a sense of “consistency”.
She said: “I know I say this all the time but it really is quite mental for me. I’ve found especially whilst being pregnant the gym helps me to feel like ‘me’ as much as I can.
“Being pregnant for the first time there is a lot of ‘unknowns’ so it’s nice to have some form of consistency where possible.
“Still getting through my workouts approx. 3 times per week and a lot less intense. I’ve been really listening to my body and if I feel like I need to rest and take it easy I do.”
Muscle tears during pregnancy
According to Dr Daniel Cichi from Doctor-4-U, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience tears and strains in the abdomen muscles as the uterus stretches the muscles quite a bit as the baby grows.
“If you have an injury such as this you should rest up and avoid any kind of strenuous activity to prevent worsening the injury,” he suggests.
“To avoid this kind of injury it’s important that you don’t overdo it. Staying active is important during pregnancy, but this should feel comfortable, you shouldn’t feel strain or breathlessness, and if you do then this could be a sign you’re doing too much.
“Always follow the advice of your doctors or midwives, if they feel you’re doing too much then it’s important to listen.”
Exercising safely during pregnancy
“Yoga and daily walks are great light to moderate exercises that are not only great sources of physical activity but they can also help you mentally during this time,” Dr Cichi says.
“Exercise does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial, you can gain a lot of benefits from simply getting up and walking each day.”
According to Dr Cichi how much exercise you can do during exercise will also depend on how active you were before pregnancy. If you were inactive before you became pregnant then it’s not a good time to suddenly take up strenuous exercise, as you’re more likely to become injured.
“It’s important to stay fit and active during pregnancy for the health of yourself and your baby, staying active may also help to reduce the likelihood of experiencing problems in later pregnancy, labour,and post-pregnancy,” Dr Cichi adds.
“However, it’s important to exercise safely and strenuous exercise is not advised.”
Exercise is widely acknowledged as a great way to boost your fitness and mood during pregnancy and to help recovery after giving birth.
“For most women, exercising during pregnancy is a good idea and can improve their health and the wellbeing of their baby,” explains Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser, NCT.
“It can also help them adapt to their changing body shape and maintain a healthy weight during and after pregnancy. Some women, for example those with heart problems or a history of premature labour, should speak to their midwife or GP before exercising.”
It’s usually safe to keep up with your pre-pregnancy routine during the nine months as long as you feel able to, but you shouldn’t overdo it.
“We have an article on our website about working out safely when pregnant,” Duff continues. “There are several red flags which mean you should stop exercising and get urgent medical attention, such as dizziness or feeling faint, or vaginal bleeding.”
The NCT also has some tips and advice about how to safely exercise your stomach muscles and pelvic floor in pregnancy.
The NHS website makes it clear that contact sports are a no-go because of the risk of being hit and similarly scuba diving (due to decompression sickness) and exercising at over 2,500m above sea level (altitude sickness).