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Melanie Morris: Why shouldn't Sarah work out while pregnant?

PREGNANT model Sarah McGovern has really set fashionable tongues wagging by revealing she's passing the time to her due date by working out in the gym.

With just days to go, she's still keeping up her twice weekly appointments with her personal trainer, plus spending hours routinely doing Pilates, walking and swimming.

Some may be shocked at Sarah's rigorous regime, but honestly, I say why not? As one of Ireland's most popular models, Sarah is a woman who relies on her looks to make a living, and her success no doubt comes from her professionalism and her determination to stay in the best shape possible.



SENSIBLE

Sarah has always been a very dedicated girl. She looks after herself well, and even when modelling in the earlier stages of her pregnancy, she still looked like a panther -- a very beautiful, sleek, toned woman.

To expect a girl like that to spend months blobbing out on a sofa eating her way through a box of Celebrations while nursing her cankles would be surprising. Far more so than to find her working out and staying fit.

I doubt Sarah's doing anything she's not already well used to, and by employing a trainer, she's being supervised by a professional who'll ensure she's getting good exercise, but not putting herself, or the baby, at risk. She's being sensible.

I was in the Shelbourne hotel last night, judging a Best Dressed Lady competition after Ladies Day at the Dublin Horse Show and took the opportunity to run a bit of a straw poll on what the women there thought of Sarah's regime. Many of these smart, yummy mummies confessed to exercising close to their due dates, with swimming and yoga being popular options.

As one woman explained, it's good to feel you have some sort of control over your unfamiliar body, especially at a time when it's really taking you over.

Most also agreed with Sarah's comment about how the right sort of exercise can help prepare a mother for the marathon that is childbirth ... it's a case of being as fit as possible, and giving yourself the best chance to get through the process with minimal difficulty.

I don't know if I'd have Sarah's steely resolve, however. I find it hard enough to motivate myself to run at the best of times, but with a blue chip excuse like impending motherhood, I'm afraid I might be one of the sofa/Celebrations/cankle brigade ...

Or would I? I remember being so impressed by Nicole Kidman's pre and post pregnancy fitness regime when she was expecting her daughter Sunday Rose. She worked out right up to the delivery date, and was back in her tracksuit days afterwards.



SHAPE

I know it was extreme, but I totally admired her dedication and I'm sure it was through adhering to precise plan that she managed to spring back into shape so quickly.

The challenge for women to bounce into labour, while their bodies immediately spring back into shape becomes more and more.

And mothers like Kidman, and Victoria Beckham have certainly raised the bar.

So, hearing about Sarah's gym regime doesn't surprise me a bit. Good on you girl, and keep it up. But what really impresses me is her plan to have a completely natural birth.

Now, there's a woman who obviously likes a challenge.


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