For years, women have been told to stop exercising, to put their feet up and relax during their pregnancy. In some cases, this can be the correct advice, but in most cases, working out during your pregnancy can have many benefits–such as making your body stronger, improving mood, and decreasing the likelihood of developing common conditions such as gestational diabetes, Preeclampsia, and depression.
Building a strong body during your pregnancy will help you to deal your experience during labour, delivery, and recovery.
Some things to keep in mind:
- If you were active pre-pregnancy, it is safe to continue with the similar exercises you were performing at that time.
- If you weren't active before your pregnancy, it is still safe to start exercising; just make sure you have been cleared from your doctor beforehand.
- Having a personal trainer on your team, or experts (OB-GYN, Midwife, Physiotherapist, etc.), while you are trying to get pregnant, are currently pregnant, or have just given birth, can be very beneficial.
Nutrition during your pregnancy is just as, or maybe even more important than, exercising.
A lot of the time you hear you are eating for two, but keep in mind, that in the early stages of your pregnancy, your body only needs 150 extra calories a day. That may look like 10 almonds and a piece of fruit, or a couple of eggs. This is not the time to start doubling your calorie intake. When the baby is growing and you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, your body will require an extra 300 calories. The best thing you can do is listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, and finish when you are about 80% full. Remember, feed your body with the right wholesome nutrition, as your baby eats what you eat!
Lastly, let's talk about post-pregnancy.
You are eager to get back into the gym and get back to your pre-pregnancy body, but there are 4 important R’s for you to remember:
The timeline for getting back into the gym can vary for all women, depending on how their labour went. Once you given your body time to rest, recover, and have taken the time to rehab and retrain your core and pelvic floor, it will be safe to return to exercise.