Hey there! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either pregnant or recently had a baby – congrats to you mama! No matter where you are in your journey, remember that you are strong and to respect that body of yours because it’s doing amazing things!
Working out while pregnant or postpartum can be intimidating and scary to say the least. I remember always worrying if my workouts were safe, if I was going to harm my baby, or what exercise/movements I should be avoiding. To be honest, pregnancy and postpartum fitness isn’t talked about enough, and most doctors/OB/GYN’s will give you a very vague description of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
I’ve been doing a lot of studying and researching lately on pregnancy and postpartum fitness, and let me tell you, I’m learning some pretty amazing things about these beautiful bodies of ours! In this post I wanted to discuss with you some modifications and safety tips that you should remember while working out during your pregnancy, no matter what trimester you’re in!
During the first trimester, you might be experiencing symptoms like fatigue, nausea, food aversions, exhaustion, etc. which can make it difficult to exercise – let alone get out of bed in the morning! Now, you don’t need to modify your exercises quite yet – but you might need to tone down the intensity a bit! Your body is producing new hormones that increase your blood volume, causing an increased cardiac output which might make exercises that were once easy, quite difficult. It’s SO important that you don’t overexert yourself! Make sure stay hydrated and listen to your body! Simply just do what you can – if anything at all!
Holy moly! I felt like a brand new woman once I reached my second trimester. I finally regained some energy, my nausea faded away and I was slowly regaining an appetite once again. The second trimester is FUN don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! You’re (hopefully) feeling better, your cute bump is starting to show, and you’re not at the point where you’re super pregnant and over it. Nows the time to get back into it – safely. With that growing bump, you’ll want to start modifying your workouts to make sure that little babe stays safe and comfortable in there! Here are some things to remember:
Avoid crunching, twisting and any exercise movements that involve laying on your stomach.
Remember to engage your TVA (Transverse Abdominis) during your exercise movements! Form a mind-muscle connection that keeps your core tight and engaged to help prevent diastasis recti (a separation of your abdominals during pregnancy), although a little ab separation is completely normal.
Incorporate Pelvic Floor Strengthening exercises into your workouts! Some examples of these are floor bridges, squats, etc.!
Exercising at this point is increasingly difficult, but remember that moving your body on a daily basis is SO healthy for you and your baby! You’ll want to continue all of the safety tips mentioned above, but now there are a few more things you’ll want to be cautious of as well! Here are a few more tips you’ll want to remember during your third trimester:
Avoid exercises where you’re laying flat on your back – it puts strain on your vena cava vein, which leave you feeling dizzy or faint.
Avoid positions where gravity pulls your belly down – such as a plank, push-ups, etc. This will put tension on your abdominal muscles and can aid diastasis recti developing.
Exercising during pregnancy is so beneficial for both you and your baby! It can help prepare your body for birth and aids in recovery postpartum. I hope these tips help give you some insight on how to safely exercise while pregnant. You’ve got this, mama!