Mother and Baby

What Jessica Ennis-Hill has learned since becoming a mum

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Olympic heptathlon champion makes everything look easy. From winning the gold medal in 2015's Olympics to being a mum of now two, is there anything Jess can't do and look flawless at the same time? 

Mother&Baby spoke to Jessica to find out her pregnancy secrets, what she's learned as a mum and her plans for the future. 

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1) I didn’t miss my six pack!

Everyone always asked me: 'What does it feel like not having a six pack any more, and having a big baby bump?' Well, it was incredible.

I was amazed at how my body was changing and that I was growing a baby, so I didn't find it weird or strange or not have that athlete figure, I really embraced being pregnant.
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2) Birth is a real surprise

Giving birth was a complete shock to the system as you just don't know how long it’s going to take or what it's going to be like.

With Reggie I had quite a long labour, about 18 or 19 hours, and it felt like it was going on forever. But with my daughter Olivia it was only about nine hours. I went from 4cm to 10cm in the space of an hour, and then suddenly she arrived. It was a real wow moment!
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3) It pays to relax a little

I had no idea how hard sleep deprivation would be. I was going back into full-time training after having Reggie, and every night was trial and error: 'Right, tonight we'll put him down in this position,' or 'if I leave that lamp on in the hallway, he'll sleep better!' Unfortunately, it made zero difference.

When it came to Olivia, we tried to be a bit more relaxed. In the short term it was hard: every time I put her down she would start crying and wouldn't settle, and we were up every hour. But we kept believing that she'd do it when she was ready, and eventually, she did – it just took quite a long time!
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4) Siblings can be very different

My kids get on brilliantly, and have had a strong bond from day one, but they are completely different people. Reggie is quite chilled, although he still likes things to be done in a particular way, but Olivia is very strong-willed. We call her Boss Baby, because she knows what she wants and if she doesn't want to do something, she'll just stand there, there’s no making her do it. She's got a more determination and is a really cheeky little character.
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5) Patience really is a virtue

I think most athletes are quite impatient, they want things to happen straight away, they’re always driven to ‘go for gold’, and want to get on with things. But life is very different when you've got children, and now I’m a mum, I've got so much patience – I can handle the million questions that Reggie throws at me, and all the randomness that kids bring you.
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6) To live in the moment

With your first baby, you’re always thinking: 'What are you going to do next? What's going to happen?’ and you find yourself always thinking about the next thing. Then all of a sudden, that time has gone and you're reminiscing about when they were little babies and they couldn't really do much and you're wishing those days back. So now I try to remember to stay in the moment and enjoy it as much as I can.
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7) I want to help mums with fitness

After having my children, despite being a professional athlete, I didn't know what kind of exercise to do, or how much. I was lucky to have a great team of people around me who supported me and guided me back into fitness. I wanted to bring all that knowledge and information together in one place for other mums, so I created my new app, Jennis, with help from my team.

It’s full of pregnancy and post-natal workouts to help mums enjoy staying active and to recover well. You can do the workouts at home, they're really easy and clear, so you know exactly what you're doing and that you're doing it the right way.

Jessica’s app, Jennis (£9.99) is available on iOS and Android.

What have you learned so far as a new mum? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Senior Writer

Having worked for Mother&Baby magazine for three years, Emily trained as a journalist at Northumbria University. She writes the magazine’s news and product pages, features and celebrity franchise, Now I’m a Mum, where she has interviewed mums such as Paloma Faith, Fearne Cotton and Alex Jones.

A fondness for travel, chocolate and her sausage dog Luna, in her spare time. Emily also runs the lifestyle blog, Musings & More

 

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