Fitness influencer Emily Breeze wants to set the record straight on working out during pregnancy

By Julie Mazziotta
January 26, 2018 04:57 PM
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https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYrCz4FLjL/Credit: Courtesy Emily Breeze
Credit: Eben Adrian Productions

Fitness influencer Emily Breeze Ross Watson wants to set the record straight on working out during pregnancy.

The trainer and soon-to-be mom of two gets messages from women all over the world who want reassurance that it’s safe to do the HIIT and weightlifting workouts she’s done throughout her two pregnancies.

“When you’re pregnant you’re so vulnerable, it’s such a hard time, and I was surprised about the lack of support so many women receive,” Watson, 33, tells PEOPLE.

She decided to share a post on Instagram to break down the misconceptions that working out during pregnancy harms the mother or the baby.

“I think it’s very outdated information,” Watson says. “We do have doctors and grandparents and friends who think that exercising while pregnant is taboo.”

Joanne Stone, MD, the director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, previously told PEOPLE that most pregnant women can workout without any issues.

“There’s no limit on women on how much they can exercise,” Dr. Stone said, “though some of it depends on if they’re having any complications, like preeclampsia, so there are different recommendations for those patients. But for people who are completely uncomplicated with a low risk of issues, there’s no limit on how much exercise they can do.”

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And now that she’s entering her six month of pregnancy and starting to show, Watson is getting critical comments about her workouts.

“I’ve gotten comments like, your heart rate shouldn’t be above this number, or you shouldn’t lift above this number. I just find these statistics or these numbers that they’re throwing out there to be very arbitrary,” she says. “Why that much weight? Why that heart rate? My doctor has never told me any of those numbers because we as women are so different. We all just operate and work at such different levels. So I think it’s difficult to have one number that works for all of us.”

Watson says she’s lucky to have a doctor who understands her body and what it can handle. In her case, she’s been able to workout through her pregnancies, and was lifting weights without trouble even when her first son was overdue. She says the key is to do what works best for you.

“It’s important to listen to your body. You’re going to have some great days and some low-key days,” she says. “Some days you’re doing to be doing high-intensity exercise and other days it’ll be a walk in your neighborhood. You have to listen to your body and stay true to whatever movement your body can handle.”