There's no denying the Duchess of Cambridge looked glorious during her three pregnancies (despite suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum AKA extreme sickness) and it turns out the royal had a secret up her sleeve for staying in shape while she was pregnant.
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The Duchess reportedly prepared for the birth of Prince George in 2013 with prenatal yoga sessions, carrying on her practice once her son arrived.
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Testament to her love of the practice, Duchess Catherine also invited a yoga instructor from the island of Mustique to her 2011 wedding, and reportedly incorporates yoga into her lifestyle to wind down and promote core strength.
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Meghan Markle is a fan of yoga too; she had a yoga studio installed at Frogmore Cottage after beginning the hobby when she was a child and does baby and me yoga with Archie.
The Duchess looked beautiful while pregnant
Duchess Catherine, who loves tennis and rowing and has been photographed playing rugby, reportedly exercised throughout her pregnancy.
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She is said to have hired a personal trainer to keep her in shape while she was expecting, swapping harder workouts in favour of gentler activities like yoga and walking her dog Lupo.
Exercise is important during pregnancy
Kate might have noticed some changes in her yoga sessions, says Hollie Grant of Pilates PT, whose The Bump Plan exercise programme was created especially for pregnant people. "In a prenatal yoga class, there may be less of an emphasis on pushing yourself to your limit.
"In prenatal yoga, you may also spend more time focussing on breathwork (really helpful during pregnancy), and more time on mindfulness. Some of the inversions may not be suitable during pregnancy and lying on your back or front might be removed for the session."
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Why should we exercise in pregnancy?
Hollie explains that exercise is key during pregnancy. "The benefits of exercising during pregnancy are very similar to pre-pregnancy – reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a stronger cardiovascular system, reduced chance of injury etc but there are also some pregnancy-specific benefits too," she explains.
Yoga practice is altered during pregnancy
Working out while you're pregnant can help prevent gestational diabetes, help manage pregnancy weight gain, reduce your risk of high blood pressure, improve sleep, and boost mental health.
"There is also some research to suggest an active pregnancy can reduce labour times and reduce your chance of an assisted birth," says Hollie.
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"Pregnancy is also a fantastic time to prepare for the physical demands of labour and motherhood, Hollie adds. "If we think about car seats, buggies and changing bags, they are all heavy, so focussing on training for this upcoming endurance marathon is key."
How much exercise should pregnant women do?
The Department of Health recommends that pregnant and postpartum people aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Weight training in pregnancy is important
"This should include some strength work and something that increases breath and heart rate," says Hollie.
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