Bethel Fit Mum Woman Crush Wednesday Series – Ifeoma I

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Bethel Fit Mum Woman Crush Wednesday Series. In this series I am celebrating #fitmums who are motivating and inspiring many with their dedication to and love of fitness. Today’s special guest Ifeoma Ibekwe, yummy mummy of three, shares about her journey through three different pregnancies, and the valuable lessons that the learned along the way.

Ifeoma and family in Texas, Austin 1) Brief bio about yourself. Your name, what you do etc.

My name is Ifeoma. I am an encourager of women and want them to find their God-given calling in life, a wife, and a mother of three children (4-year-old, 2-year-old, and 7-month-old), and an attorney. Currently I live in Austin, Texas.

2) How and when did you get into fitness?

Since I can remember, I have always been physically active and loved participating in sports and any physical activity. I remember being the captain of my school team during field day when I was in 6th grade.

3) What is your favorite type of exercise?

I appreciate anything high intensity. I love HIIT, boot camps, running (sprints, interval runs etc.) Any way I can work up a sweat is best. Currently I am in Camp Gladiator and I try to work out at least 5 times a week. I am also an avid fan of traditional Pilates. I love using the Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair.

4) How did pregnancy change/affect your fitness regime in each trimester?
  • 1st pregnancy – I worked out throughout. First, I had no children so this gave me a lot of leeway to take care of myself. Mostly, I did studio Pilates 3-4 times a week and had an excellent instructor who took expert care in making sure that I had the correct modifications for pregnancy when working out. We worked on pelvic floor strengthening exercises on the Reformer throughout my pregnancy.
 
  • 2nd pregnancy – Nope. I did the LEAST (big mistake because the recovery was longer) exercise. Maybe walking from my house to the car?
 
  • 3rd pregnancy – I worked out by running, doing low impact cardio, and fitness videos through the first half. During the second half, I had to back down because I was experiencing pelvic pain. Plus, chasing two kids under 3 was a workout in and of itself!


5) In what ways did/has being physically active helped you through your pregnancy?
I find that if I work out during my pregnancy, it is easier to lose the weight and get my abdominal muscles back together with a quickness. Exercise has also helped during my labor (always short—my third baby was almost born in my car).

My first goal after birth is always to take the time to heal even though by week 4 I am craving exercise. I am, however, careful and do super low impact exercise to combat diastasis recti like walking, stretching, and pelvic floor exercises. There are so many great exercise videos on the Internet (and terrible ones too).


6) What fitness advice would you give to someone who is pregnant or planning to get pregnant?

  • First, listen to your doctor or midwife. You want to get clearance before doing any physical activity that is too strenuous.
 
  • Second, the human body is able to cope with many things, but you are the only one who knows your limits—so listen to your body’s cues. If all you can do is walk, then walk, but do something.
 
  • Third, don’t judge women who workout when they are pregnant. I have been so inspired by seeing women lifting weights and keeping up in boot camp. God has given each and every one of us different abilities—even in pregnancy. Let’s celebrate all types of women’s’ abilities and support the choices that they make.