Gabby Talks Pregnancy

By Amy Levine

Gabrielle Reece is a dynamic force to reckon with as one of best pro beach volleyball players. Even at five months pregnant—carrying her daughter Brody—Gabby was back in the sand competing. Not to mention, inspiring many women to stay in shape, and reminding them that it’s possible to be active during the second trimester. Pregnancy & Baby caught up with Gabby when she had a few moments of downtime as Queen Bee of her family and her new endeavor.

More than just the-mommy-thing
“I love when you go to a dinner or gathering and people ask ‘so what are you doing these days, JUST the Mommy thing.’ Quite frankly it’s easier to say “yes,” and not get into what “just the Mommy thing” means, or being a working mom etc. If I had to put it in a nutshell of what I’m doing, I would say that I’m running around after my family—daughters Brody Jo 10 months, Reece 5 years old, and when I’m lucky my 13 year old step-daughter Bela. I’m striving to be a loving and attentive wife to my husband of many years Laird Hamilton, and I’m training my butt off so I can stay in shape to keep up with all of these energizers. On the side, I’m tackling a multi-year business endeavor called The Honeyline that’s finally beginning to get a life.”

All about the HoneyLine
“The HoneyLine is a concept that was born out of the great reality that women survive by the support, exchange of information, and sharing of experiences from their best four or five girlfriends. I always thought if you could get connected into a strong honeyline you would be able to get whatever you needed. Advice about parenting, exercise, food, relationships, sex, entertaining, make-up, travel, or just a needed ear now and again. So I created, and have HoneyLine segments air on Rachael Ray. It’s a fun way to interview other women, get all of their honey or solutions for things in their life, and share it with viewers.”

Gabby’s Dream
“My dream is to be a part of something that encourages women to take care of themselves, give them real, user friendly, time realistic fitness regiments, and continually find ways to inspire or give them a little kick in the pants from time to time. Oh, and by the way to all of you who are “just doing the Mom thing” that is the hardest and most honorable job there is, hands down.”

Staying in shape during pregnancy and postpartum

“I try not to give too much advice to women when they are pregnant because everyone else is doing so. However, I would say that if you’ve checked with your doctor, and you’re good to move, then do it. Recovering from pregnancy and “getting your body back” is way easier if you keep moving (safely) while you’re pregnant. Your exercise life should be a reflection of your fitness level when you got pregnant. I trained very hard, but I was already training hard with weights and spinning BEFORE I became pregnant.”

How Gabby got active after giving birth
“Neither one of my daughters would come out, so after 20 hours of labor and 2 pushing with Reece (my 5 year old) they had to give me a C-section. I started very slowly lifting really light upper body weights after 2 1/2 weeks. I was up and taking little walks after about a week. Again, I did everything safely, and did what felt right for my body. By about 6 weeks, I was back to working at a regular pace. I did walking, light lifting, mild pilates, and swimming after my girls were born.”

Birth of Gabby’s pregnacy DVD
“The real time pregnancy project came about when I was shooting a fitness series called Express 15 with an incredible trainer named Mike Monroe. Just so happened that I was six weeks pregnant (with my second daughter Brody), and Mike knew about it, so we started talking. We decided it would be cool to do a real time DVD with me expanding at the same rate as the women exercising along with me. So while shooting normal fitness routines we then came up with the idea for Gabrielle Reece:
The Complete Fit and Healthy Pregnancy ”

What sets Gabby’s DVD apart from the rest
“What I love about these DVD’s is they consider each month you’re pregnant vs. just throwing you a few workouts that are meant to last you throughout your entire pregnancy. Mike Monroe used the ACOG guidelines so moms-to-be that have been approved by their doctor to exercise can do the workouts with a sense of confidence. The workouts are unique in that they give you a new workout for each and every month. I think if women could do them four to five times a week that would be great! After all, they’re only 15 minutes.”

Tips to target typical post-baby problem areas

“Getting your heart rate up and developing a real sweat is the first step in hitting all of your troubled areas. Grab sleep where you can, drink enough water, and when you are ready resistance training is very helpful in toning those difficult areas. If you love yoga do that! Spinning a great quick sweat. Pilates is wonderful for toning.”

Words of wisdom for moms-to-be and moms who don’t typically work out

“Your health is the greatest asset you can take care of for yourself and your unborn child. Wake up each day appreciating your health and take it as a gift not another responsibility. These workouts are only 15 minutes, so try and to be consistent with them vs. thinking you have to spend hours and hours each day sweating. Find things you like to do, otherwise you’ll never exercise.”

Gabby on giving birth

“Giving birth is the one moment that time really stands still. Yes, it’s unknown and a bit scary, but so magical and surreal. Reece being the first was more of an adventure. I was in labor for 20 hours, took drugs at 13 hours, pushed for two hours, and then her heart rate was going up and down so I had to have a Cesarean. Brody was supposed to be born in California. Due to fires near our home there, we stayed in Hawaii, and at nine months pregnant I was running around looking for a good doctor. She was born on January 1st so it was a mellow day. Went into labor, cooked food (chili and corn bread) for my troops and went into the hospital about eight hours later. I was dilated to about 6cm by the time we arrived at the hospital and then they took her out about three hours later. Typically, doctors don’t like to perform VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) so I didn’t have the option to try.”

What no one told Gabby about being a Mom
“Some things about being a Mom are cliché, and you can’t connect until you’re actually in it. The amount of love you feel is overwhelming. I didn’t mind breastfeeding, and quite enjoyed it once I got in the rhythm. No one tells you how crazy feeling tired makes you, and that it’s okay to feel this way. I tried to have as much of an organic approach, and working to keep it simple was key, like not worrying about schlepping around a bunch of baby stuff—diapers, breast, baby, change of clothes, nice blanket, me, and we’re good to go.”

The best advice Gabby received while pregnant
“I just had a bunch of great friends tell me to listen to myself. It was my baby, my family, and to go with what felt right for us. However that bit about enjoying sleep while you’re pregnant for the first time….TAKE IT!”