Pregnancy and particularly childbirth, can be incredibly daunting. When we recognise that, however, we should also remember to recognise just how phenomenal it is. Just stop a second and take a moment to marvel at what women and their awesome bodies can do! Sure there are days when you feel too tired to move, but there are also days when you find you can do a workout, a full day’s work, three loads of laundry, cook dinner and mail that ‘thank you’ note that’s been bugging you and, at the same time….you are growing a whole human!
When I was carrying my first baby, I was pretty disappointed by the scaremongering around keeping fit while pregnant; the plethora of confusing and contradictory information; and the general lack of qualified support from across the industry.
I was lucky enough to able to draw on my pre/post-natal training, but at a time that can be tricky enough as it is, a lot of expectant mothers are left bewildered and too embarrassed to speak up. As the girls from my long-suffering Antenatal Class (the wonderful Bump Class) can testify – I became a passionate bore about trying to help ladies navigate their way through pregnancy fitness. Genuinely, I started accosting random women in group classes and my local gym, demonstrating modifications to moves we’d been doing and offering to answer what questions I could.
Every pregnancy is different and there is no cookie-cutter approach that’s going to work for everyone. I’m not about to tell you exactly how to workout – although I will if you ask! – and you might find the following doesn’t resonate with you, and that’s ok. The most important person to listen to during pregnancy is yourself.
What follows is a list of useful information complied from things I wanted to know; things I was asked; things I researched; and things that clients and other fitness professionals have recommended. I hope you find it useful and that it might at least save you a few hours on Google – enjoy!
If you have ANY serious concerns about working out when pregnant, speak to your GP and get their clearance first, even if only for your own peace of mind.
If you’re used to working up a sweat on a regular basis, jump straight to the below list.
If finding out you’re expecting has spurred you into action on the fitness front, good for you, keep going! If this is you, I’d recommend doing a couple of sessions first with a pre-natal qualified PT. They will be able to assess what fitness goals are realistic for you, show you a series of modifications and recommend local classes.
Hope some of that is helpful, send me thoughts on anything you think should be added to the list and look out for Part II of the post on Pregnancy Yoga, Recovery and Travel X