Exercise for pregnancy, birth and parenting
Was there ever a point when you thought “I shouldn’t be doing this”?
I went on feel all the way through both pregnancies. If it felt OK, I'd do it.
I was lucky I didn’t have really bad sickness with either. One day I was sick all night but that could have been food poisoning. The day after that I made the decision that I shouldn’t exercise that day as I just felt way too depleted.
I was also careful not to fall.
Do you think being as fit as you are actually helped you cope with the pregnancy and the changes your body went through?
Yes absolutely. It certainly helps your body cope better with the labour and recover better afterwards.
And for the baby too. It's proven that they come out with lower heart rates and handle the stress of delivery better because they’ve been exposed to those sorts of "stresses" already.
How did you cope when your babies were born?
For me personally I loved the first two or three weeks, especially the first two or three days when it’s just you and the baby and you’ve really got time to bond.
I didn’t really find it that exhausting because I was so happy and just enjoying it.
Because I was getting back in to training a couple of weeks after the birth that’s when it was really important for me to get the support of family.
As I need my recovery for the work that I do, I’ve been lucky that both my babies slept 12-hours from six or seven weeks.
Did you get lots of support from your other half (husband Gary Lough, a former Northern Irish 1,500 m runner and Paula's coach)?
Yeah, that’s vital. When they got bigger just knowing, when you go out for a run, that they’re in safe hands and they’re fine means that you can concentrate on your training better.