The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with lower back pain, labour and to get back into shape after the birth.
I love helping women to exercise during pregnancy! it’s such a special time and can be a positive force for change – for some women it’s the first time that they start to follow an exercise regime so need to be careful not to overdo it. I have been working in and around Cranbrook for the last year or so but previously I taught pre and post natal classes with the lovely Sue Lewis in Wimbledon. One of the most fun things I ever did was set up Prenatal Pole Dancing classes and I will be starting a new course of these in September. Pole Dancing is great as a Prenatal exercise as it can really help core stability and balance as well as keeping you in great shape as your bump grows.
What I would say is that if you already exercise regularly you don’t need to change much – Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby but as a general rule NHS guidelines are that you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously. Avoid lifting heavy weights and listen to your body. If you feel tired or something doesn’t feel right – stop
Government guidelines are as follows:
- Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the main blood vessel bringing blood back to your heart and this can make you feel faint.
- Don’t take part in contact sports where there’s a risk of being hit, such as kick-boxing, judo or squash.
- Don’t go scuba diving, because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream).
- Don’t exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised: this is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness.
- If you weren’t active before you got pregnant, it’s important that you don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic exercise programme (such as, swimming, cycling, walking or aerobics classes), tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually to at least four 30-minute sessions a week.
- Swimming is an especially good Prenatal exercise as the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors.Don’t forget to always warm up and cool down afterwards; avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather and make sure that you drink plenty of luke warm water.
- Finally – don’t forget those vitally important Pelvic Floor Exercises! – these are very easy to fit into your cooling off period at the end of exercising – try a few whilst you’re doing your stretches. You don’t even have to be exercising to do them – I do mine whilst I’m ironing!Above all have fun! – your baby will thank you for it!
More info about me and what I do
I am a fully qualified and insured Personal Fitness Trainer living in Kent and I’m not at all scary.
I am also a mother of two children, 2 dogs and 2 guinea pigs with first hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a busy life. Over the years I have been many shapes and sizes. When I finally stopped trying to be perfect, I maintained my weight and havenʼt looked back. I have learnt how to fit exercise in around my daily routine – even when cooking the dinner
I donʼt believe in dieting, excessive amounts of exercise or obsessive approaches to health and fitness.
My mantra is to do what you can, when you can and to feel good about what you have managed to achieve – above all exercise should be fun and not guilt ridden!
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