Ante- and Post- Natal Exercise

“…women should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy.” 

 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2006)

Pregnancy is often a time when fitness and exercise tends to get pushed to the background in place of all the other jobs, demands and emotions that are happening around this time. Some women feel the need to keep up with some form of exercise but are unsure as to what, when, how and how much. There are common misconceptions that exercise can be harmful to the mother and baby.

 However, it has been proven through a variety of studies that exercise can have a powerful and positive contribution to pregnancy when applied correctly and it is quite safe to keep training (or even begin) during pregnancy if you are healthy. It is best to make sure you follow a guided workout routine with a personal trainer in order to ensure all exercises and levels are suitable for the stage of pregnancy you are at. The Journal of the American Acaedemy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (Aug 2009) states that physicians should recommend low to moderate levels of exercise to their pregnant patients even if they have not exercised prior to pregnancy.

 You will also find that there are many benefits to training during pregnancy, including:

  • Improved circulation
  • Enhanced muscular balance (relieving backaches and general muscle and joint soreness as a result of postural changes)
  • Strengthened abdominal and pelvic floor muscles 
  • Eased post-partum recovery
  • Reduced maternal weight gain and fat accumulation
  • Greater ability to regain pre-pregnant appearance quicker and/or more completely.
  • Reduction in perceived pain during labour
  • Maintaining a better self-image and generally feeling more positive about yourself during and after pregnancy, experiencing less cases of insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Benefits to the baby itself

The return to physical fitness after the birth is also an important time for both mother and baby. Whilst there is vast pressure through extended coverage in the media regarding celebrity mums regaining their pre-pregnancy figure in a couple of weeks (this is neither recommended or always possible), it is vital to make sure you are training at the correct level and not starting back too soon with inappropriate exercises.

As a fully qualified Personal Trainer, I can guide you through this challenging but rewarding period of your life.