It is my dream that every pregnant woman feels comfortable in her exercise environment. This means in her gym, or a gym that she visits. This includes yoga classes, spin classes, or any class that she wants to participate in. Unfortunately, that is not the case these days. Yes, we are still dealing with this crap! Most women are met with big eyes and long stares along with others' opinions. You may hear things like, “Should you even be doing this?” or “I don’t think you should lift that.” Sometimes there's an instructive, “Walking is really all you should do.”
Here’s the deal. Exercise for mom and baby during pregnancy offer a significant amount of benefits. The two most well known benefits are a shorter labor and delivery, and a faster postpartum recovery. I did not even mention all the physiological benefits or the lack of aches and pains associated with the musculoskeletal system. More than 95% of healthy pregnancies that are out there should be working out in some sort of fashion while they are pregnant.
Check with you healthcare provider before exercising while pregnant. If you are new to exercise, then get referrals or utilize BirthFIT for remote programming. There are options for EVERYONE out there.
If you coach pregnant women, teach classes that welcome pregnant women, or personally train those that are pregnant, I encourage you to be open to learning. Each pregnancy is different and every day is different.
Know the contraindications to training during pregnancy:
- Abnormal pain and/or discomfort.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Intractable nausea and vomiting.
- Musculoskeletal injury.
- Rupture of the membranes.
- Signs of labor prior to 36 weeks.
- Abnormal structure of uterus or womb.
*Get comfortable about asking about the vagina, bleeding, vomiting, etc.
Know what the heck is going on and how to monitor:
- Make sure the pregnant woman has no complications and checked with her healthcare provider in regards to exercising.
- Know your environment. This includes humidity, temperature, ventilation, etc.
- Know your client. If you don’t know her, then get to know her.
- Encourage all clients to stay hydrated, especially those that are pregnant.
- Encourage pregnant women to eat a snack before and after they exercise.
- Do not impose your nutritional/diet beliefs on a pregnant woman.
- Ask about the baby’s activity before and after exercise.
- Talk to the mother while she’s working out. Make sure she can carry on a conversation with you.
- Do not, under any circumstance, allow a mom to continue barbell movements when the bar path is obviously altered.
- Have fun and support the mom-to-be. She needs this more than you know.
Pregnancy is no time to set “personal bests” or to compete against your all-time rival. It is a time to maintain your fitness level, optimally move, and train both physically and mentally for the birth of your baby. For majority of the women that continue to exercise in their pregnancy or even seek out exercise, they have done their research and know that it is beneficial for mom and baby. If you happen to coach or workout next to a pregnant woman and have a negative opinion about the situation, I highly encourage you to keep your mouth shut or email me directly (Lindsey@birthfit.com). Pregnant women are doing their best. Sometimes all that feels good that day is to walk, while other days it feels good to do pull-ups or do heavy squats relative to her capabilities. I encourage you to support all those pregnant women that walk through your door. And, if there is something you don’t know, then reach out to BirthFIT. This is as much a resource for your coaches as it is for the women.
It takes a village to have a child and raise a child, so let’s stand behind the mothers that are rocking it!
In 90s, complete the following:
30s Plank Hold or Handstand Hold
Max Step-Ups or Box Jumps
- This is really a workout for all levels. You can go as fast or as slow as you would like.
- Box height should be comfortable to you and not too high for today's workout.
- Plank or handstand hold- choose which one you feel more comfortable doing.