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Danielle's First Trimester Tips

LA instructor DANIELLE MCCLEEREY is expecting a lil' rockstar! Now 13 weeks along, she fills us in on how she's feeling and shares tips for tapping it back in the first trimester… 

Congrats on the big news! When did you find out?
Well, I knew I was pregnant at two weeks. I am very in tune with my body… so as soon as something felt different, I knew. I was definitely more conscious about my ride when I found out, but it wasn't until about week 5 that $%^& got real. Also, my doctor is an avid rider, so she knew exactly what my job entailed from the very beginning.

How did you feel?
Around week 5, I got ALL the nausea. We're talking "running out of class and puking, and going back in" kind of nausea. It wasn't cute. Gin Gin Ginger candies and Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil were my life savers. 

Ouch. What did you do for energy?
For about a month (weeks 5-9), I couldn't keep anything down besides doughnuts and spaghetti. (I didn't choose the doughnuts, the doughnuts chose me). I also started to get really tired around week 7. I told my friend, "I have never been this tired in my whole life, and I went to grad school." Apparently it's normal. 

How did you handle teaching?
There were definitely days where teaching class felt like the absolute last thing I wanted to do, but I found that getting up and staying active was the best remedy for exhaustion. Once my blood got flowing, I was okay. I was only really nauseous all day until about week 10, and the exhaustion thing is still wearing off slowly, but now that I'm about week 13, I am starting to feel like a human again.  

How has your ride changed?
My ride started to change around week 9, when I could really feel the fatigue set in.  I realized pretty quickly that I would have to go a little easier than I was used to. I hop on and off the bike a lot more now. For my riders, that would be the equivalent to sitting a little more in class. 

Did you get any insight from Soul instructor moms?
Senior Master Instructor Melanie Griffith gave me some great advice: TRUST YOUR BODY. I have always been very in touch with my body, so I gave myself permission to take more breaks when I was especially sick or fatigued. It's hard, though — especially when you're type A and used to keeping at 100 percent all the time. I definitely learned to leave my pride at the door and listen to my body. And, of course, rest when needed.

Having just finished your first trimester, what's your best advice for riders who are newly pregnant or are considering getting pregnant?
1. Keep saltines next to your bed. 
Eat one before you even get up if you are one of the "lucky" ones with morning sickness.

2. Stay hydrated! 
Dehydration is a HUGE culprit for fatigue when you're athletic and prego.

Seriously, if you have a lifestyle that allows for naps, DO IT. And by nap, I mean a couple hours. You can ask my boyfriend: When I nap, I NAP. There were days I cried if I didn't get one. He did not appreciate that. But with a good nap in the middle of the day, I was better prepared to ride when it came time for class.
4. If you came to SoulCycle before you got pregnant, you can ride while you're pregnant, as long as your doctor gives you the go-ahead.  
5. Don't be too hard on yourself if you need a day off. 
You abs and your butt will forgive you — you have a full-time job right now; it's ok to take a day to rest. 
6.  Pee before class. 
Just trust me.

And now that you're now finishing the first trimester, how do you feel?
I feel like a completely different person. My energy level is starting to come back up, and the nausea throughout the day is gone. Now I am dealing mostly with the fact that I am starting to show. Certain moves on the bike are a little tougher. My abs have started to move apart to make room for the baby, and that's totally weird for many reasons. I also have a normal, heathy appetite again, which is awesome, because I really enjoy eating.

When are you due?
February 20, 2016.

Doughnuts and spaghetti... and deep tissue massages. I am pretty certain all of these things are not pregnancy cravings, they are just Danielle cravings.  

Will you find out if it is a boy or girl?
Here's a good one: I will be finding out. My family and my boyfriend's family will be finding out. But my boyfriend doesn't want to find out. Wish us luck on that. I will know by the end of the week what we are having via genetic blood testing, so stay tuned!

How do you feel about becoming a mom?
You know what's funny? I was married for seven years, and the entire time I was married I was convinced I never wanted children. As soon as I met Jason, everything changed. We didn't plan to get pregnant right now, but when I found out I was, I was so excited. I guess when you're with the right person, the idea of starting a family is exciting.  

I can't wait to teach him or her what it means to be a decent human, to love people, to work hard, and to set crazy goals. People ask me if I am nervous about being a mom.  No, I'm really not. I grew up with an amazing mom who taught me a lot about being a mother, and I am constantly surrounded by great women and amazing moms… I know I will be a good one. I also grew up with an awesome little brother 13 years younger than I am, so I got some practice. 

You'll be great!
But giving birth? THAT is something I am nervous about…

Anything you want to add?
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Catch classes with Danielle at SoulCycle Pasadena and SoulCycle West Hollywood! Questions or comments? Email!

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