Taking care of my body has always been important to me. I try to eat right, exercise, get enough rest and drink plenty of water. When I found out I was expecting, I kicked my committment to my health up a notch, after all I was growing a whole other life!
Lauren Bartell Weiss, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC San Diegos Center for the Promotion of Maternal Health and Infant Development and former American College of Sports Medicine-certified trainer. For more information on exercise during pregnancy, visit MotherToBaby.org. You can check out the MothertoBaby blog HERE.
Here are some prenatal fitness workout tips recommended by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Guidelines for Exercise During
Pregnancy and Postpartum shared by Lauren Bartel Weiss, PHD.
1. Regular exercise (at least three times per week) is preferable to intermittent activity.
2. Avoid exercise in the supine position after the first trimester. This position is associated with decreased cardiac output in most pregnant women, causing a decreased distribution of blood to splanchnic beds including the uterus.
3. Pregnant women should stop exercising when fatigued and not exercise to exhaustion.
4. Nonweight-bearing exercises such as cycling or swimming will minimize the risk of injury and facilitate the continuation of exercise during pregnancy.
5. Adequate diet should be ensured.
6. Avoid types of exercise in which loss of balance could be detrimental to maternal or fetal well-being, especially in the third trimester. Further, any type of exercise involving the potential for even mild abdominal trauma should be avoided.
7. Adequate hydration, appropriate clothing, and optimal environmental surroundings during exercise should be ensured.
8. The physiologic and morphologic changes of pregnancy persist 46 weeks postpartum. Thus, prepregnancy exercise routines should be resumed gradually based on a womans physical capability.
Regular exercise can be one of the hardest things to squeeze in while you’re expecting. You are incredibly tired, perhaps nauseous, and as your pregnancy progresses, more clumsy as your shape changes. Ironically, the way to combat fatigue, waves of nausea as well as the growing pains of pregnancy is to get regular exercise. An exercise journal can be a helpful tool for any busy mama to be. The Fitplan pregnancy journal by Gaiam has been a useful way to plan, track and help me to meet my fitness goals as an expectant mom.
I have found prenatal Yoga to be relaxing, and has kept up my strength, balance and sense of peace. DVD’s I have tried and loved include: the relaxing and soothing Shiva Rea’s Prenatal Yoga (it is modified for each trimester!), Crunch Yoga Mama Prenatal Yoga for a comprehensive and super positive toning workout and if you’re ready for a power punch workout Sara Haley’s Expecting More is designed with varied workouts to keep you fit, healthy and in shape.
Having the right clothes during exercise is so important. You don’t need to be hiking up your pants, pulling shirts down over your belly, or dealing with uncomfortable elastic or extra fabric. My favorite yoga pants are made by Ingrid & Isabel for the unique way the hug and shape my lower body. The full belly panelled front is extremely comfortable and provides ample coverage (read: they don’t stop in the middle of your huge belly!). I love how they are cut in a Crossover Panel “v” in the back making them supportive without overloading you with fabric. They grow and change as you do, providing you with support, comfort and all day wearability.
Of course, looking as good as you feel is motivating to any mama, expecting or not. I love the new line by me2Roo. Fun designs, bright colors and great fabrics combined with the perfect amount of movement, and breathability makes the activewear from me2roo especially appealing to expecting mamas. I love that many of the pieces will also be perfect after baby arrives and will allow for easy nursing access, camouflaging the tummy pooch all while helping you to look great while you’re working hard to get back to your prepregnancy self.
As far as tops go, I love the eco-friendly designs from Fitbump. The collection is designed to last well into your fourth trimester, and tops like the Iris are perfect for nursing mamas on the go. The top fits well over my belly and has been comfortable as I make the giants leaps during my final trimester. The fabric is soft, breathable and is fitted in all the right places.
Mamas to be often need guidance on how to eat while expecting. This area becomes particularly challenging when you already have a family to care for. FitBump Thrive Foods is a meal delivery program that is plant-based, gluten-free and are well-balanced specifically with you and your growing baby’s needs in mind. I love that the FitBump Thrive Program focuses on fresh, complete meal ideas with a farm to table philosophy. Thrive foods is available as a pre and post natal food plan so even after baby arrives you can continue to eat well (important as you work to regain your prepregnancy figure and support baby via breastfeeding). Makes a perfect “new mama” gift!
For low-impact support, a Sports Bra is a comfortable alternative especially while your body is growing and changing. Loving Moments has a new wire free pregnancy to nursing bra (available at Walmart retailers) that is comfortable, and versatile. I can wear it both during and after my pregnancy as its inner sling and breathable mesh back panel is especially designed for active nursing mothers. I love the easy drop down, and the dual adjustable side bands with three hook and eye closures, and the scoop neckline so I can easily wear it with a tee.
For relief of pregnancy symptoms like heartburn, check out the full line of safe products from Healthy Mama. Healthy Mama offers over the counter remedies for pregnancy, nursing and beyond.
For online support and fitness plans, Erica Ziel, founder of Core Athletica Inc., has created “Knocked-Up Fitness” a series of workouts, DVDs and (coming soon) webinars to help women meet their pregnancy fitness goals, learn the secrets of pregnancy (the ones even your girlfriends forgot to mention) and provide tips, advice and encouraging support. Knocked Up Fitness is your pre and post natal fitness online resource.