Former Olympian and sports’ presenter Denise Lewis welcomed her baby Troy back in December 2018. Here, she opens up about becoming a mum again in her forties
Denise Lewis’s baby Troy was a very welcome surprise for the former Olympian champion and sports’ presenter, who already has three children. In this exclusive interview with Baby magazine, we chat to Denise Lewis about the joys of motherhood, how her exercise regime changed during pregnancy, and how her other three children reacted to gaining a new little brother.
Denise Lewis, you gave birth to your fourth child, Troy, in December 2018. How has the last year been for you?
It’s flown by! I remember with my other three children (Lauryn, 16, Ryan, 13, and Kane, 11), the first 12 months seemed to go on forever, but with Troy, it’s been a blur. I don’t know if that’s because I’m a bit more experienced and taking things in my stride, or if he’s just a super baby! He’s very chilled out and embracing every new phase of his life with gusto, which has made it very easy for me.
How was your pregnancy?
I’ve been lucky enough to have great pregnancies and it was the same with Troy. He was very frontal, and I felt comfortable for most of the time. I was even able to do a bit of training, and my eating wasn’t affected too much either. Given there’s about 10 years between Troy and my third child, Kane, it was also interesting to see how much more information is out there now. That said, the most magical elements are the things that never change, like the relationships you have with the midwives and of course, the joy of your baby being born.
How have your other three children taken to having a new little brother?
They’re fascinated by him, especially now he’s walking around a bit more. They just find him so entertaining, and they’re teaching him all sorts of different things. My son Ryan has been like a second dad to him, because he was with Troy a lot during the early days and helping out a lot. I just love watching them all interact; it’s really beautiful.
Fitness is obviously a huge part of your life. How did your exercise regime change during this pregnancy?
Because of my age, I was definitely more cautious about doing too much. So, I was careful not to bring my heart rate up too high, and did exercises that kept me generally healthy and active, like working on my target muscle groups. My pelvic floor has also been a huge focus; I had a lot of problems when I gave birth to Kane, but maintaining control of it this time has enabled me to do all sorts of high-intensity exercises that I couldn’t do before.
Other sportswomen, such as Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott, have faced controversy over exercising during their pregnancies. What’s your take?
I think it’s really hard to compare those who have spent their lives dedicated sport and those who haven’t. So, for instance, my body obviously responds very well to exercise and I felt better doing it while pregnant, but it’s not the same
Social media, particularly Instagram, also makes things complicated, and there are some pregnant women who post these really elaborate workouts, which can have a negative impact if you’re not used to doing that amount of exercise. Listening to your body is so essential, and
I’m not saying you should go out and do a marathon, but as long as you’ve sought advice first, you should try to incorporate something into your routine. And relish having that time to yourself – that’s what I loved.
Sometimes I take Troy to training with me, and I use him as my little weight. I took him to Pilates with me once and he was crawling around everywhere, much to the entertainment of everyone else in the group!
Is sport a big part of your children’s lives?
They’re very sporty. My daughter is more into health and fitness – she plays a bit of netball, but is quite happy to go to the gym on her own and use all the different equipment. My boys, on the other hand, prefer the social side to exercise and playing team sports.
When it comes to dressing Troy, where do you like to shop?
I have to stop myself shopping because I know how quickly he’ll grow out of everything! Tuppence and Crumble’s hooded star wrap blankets are so cute, and I wish they made them a little bit bigger; when Troy grew out of his, I was heartbroken. And I absolutely adore Frugi! I never really used to be into bright, colourful clothing when my other children were small, but these vibrant babygrows, socks and knitwear are just so gorgeous.
Any favourite interiors brands for Troy’s bedroom?
I loved our SnüzPod3. Because it’s portable, it was so amazing just being able to pick it up and carry it around the house. My 1st Years is brilliant, too, and Troy has a fantastic elephant with his name embroidered on the ear.
If you ever have a bit of time to yourself, what do you like to do?
Exercise! I find it so exhilarating. Sometimes I’m not in the mood, but I always try to do something, even if it’s just a little circuit at home. I also used to love going to the cinema – we have a great one where we live, and that used to be mine and my husband Steve’s retreat. Finding childcare isn’t always easy, though, so these days we watch films at home, recreating the cinema experience, popcorn and all!
What’s the best thing about being a mum?
It can be such hard work at times, so when I get a moment to just watch my children together – seeing Troy learn to blow kisses or clap his hands – it just makes my heart so full. I’m an only child and never imagined I’d have four children, and it’s a real sense of achievement to see that they’re such healthy, happy young people. I feel quite proud!
Follow Denise Lewis on Instagram here.
- Breastfeeding and Exercise: Everything You Need to Know
- My Essentials: Chemmy Alcott
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week
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