Pre and Post Natal Training Guidelines
Pregnancy and prenatal care go hand in hand. Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to be beneficial for both mother and baby. Also, one of the biggest challenges for a woman is getting back into shape after the baby is born and that’s where exercise again comes as great help.
Let’s understand in detail how proper exercise and personal training helps during prenatal and postnatal phases.
What are the Benefits of Prenatal Exercise?
Prenatal exercise has so many benefits for both the mother and baby. It can help to improve mood, sleep, energy levels, and circulation. It can also help to reduce back pain, constipation, and bloating. Prenatal exercise can even help to prevent gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. All these benefits make prenatal exercise an essential part of a healthy pregnancy.
What Precautions Need to be Taken During Prenatal Exercise?
- Exercises should be performed under supervision of a well-qualified and experienced personal trainer.
- Avoid exercises which demands higher balancing and different groups of muscles.
- Avoid supine lying more than 5 minutes after 3 months of gestation.
- Always stay hydrated (before, during and after workouts).
- Make sure to do proper warm-up and cool-down.
- Do not hold breath (Valsalva’s maneuver).
- Ensure bladder is empty before workouts.
- Do not change positions quickly.
What Exercises Should be Avoided During Pregnancy?
While being pregnant, avoid activities with high risk of injury like
- Sky diving and Scuba diving.
- “Hot Yoga” or “Hot Pilates” which may cause body to become overheated.
- Obstetricians recommend women travel not much higher than 8000 feet above sea level while pregnant and not exercise when higher than 6000 feet. High altitudes reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood which can cause you and your fetus to develop a condition called hypoxia.
- Contact sports and sports with high risk of getting hit in the abdomen, like boxing, soccer, basketball and other sports.
- Activities that may result in a fall like gymnastics, on-road cycling, surfing, water skiing, snow skiing, horseback riding and other activities.
Who Should Not Exercise During Pregnancy?
If a pregnant woman has a medical condition like heart disease, diabetes or asthma then she should consult her doctor before exercising. She should also consult her doctor about exercising if she has pregnancy-related conditions like bleeding or spotting, low-lying placenta, threatened or recurrent miscarriage, previous premature births or a history of early labor, or a weak cervix.
When to Seek Medical Care while Exercising During Pregnancy?
- Excessive shortness of breath
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Reduced fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
Which Exercises to Do During the First Trimester?
Pregnancy’s first three months can be a roller coaster of emotions. As the newly pregnant woman understands that she’s responsible for nourishing, developing, and keeping this tiny soon-to-be human being safe and well, she goes from delight and pure joy to concern, worry, and even terror.
If her pregnancy is not labelled high-risk, she can continue with her regular exercise routine. If she doesn’t exercise then this is a great time to start. A well-rounded prenatal fitness routine should include at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week and 2 to 3 days of strength training exercises that target the major muscle groups.
Exercises that would help her to prepare for labor and childbirth should be given special focus. Exercises like pelvic curl, pelvic brace, kneeling pushups, standard pushups, squats, lunges, bicep curls and other exercises done with a proper plan and correct technique will improve strength and mobility in both the upper and lower body including the abdominal area, spine, arms and legs. Proper stretching should be an integral part of the workout plan.
Which Exercises to Do During the Second Trimester?
Pregnant women would gain more calmness during their second trimester as they would get used to it and they would even feel more energy. This is an excellent time to exercise as she would make much more progress. However, several precautions need to be taken as I’ve mentioned above.
It is now time to add variations to the exercises done during first trimester and to also add new exercises. Variations on pushups can be added which target more parts of chest, shoulders and triceps. Variations on squats can be added like narrow and wide stance squats. Exercises which help to grow stability strength should be done with a special focus on glutes and inner thighs. Proper stretching should be an integral part of the workout plan with a focus on hip flexors, quadriceps, low back, glutes, and calves.
Which Exercises to Do During the Third Trimester?
As the woman’s body begins to prepare for labor and childbirth during the third trimester, this is an excellent time to focus on mobility and abdominal strength and cardiovascular health. It’s important to continue maintaining a strong and flexible body with regular exercise. However, several precautions need to be taken as I’ve mentioned above.
The exercise programming will vary per woman depending on her unique situation during the third trimester. The key is for her to stay active, strong and flexible and that will also positively impact her mental health and confidence. She’ll also be strong, fit, confident and mentally well to take care of her newborn baby.
What are the Benefits of Postnatal Exercise?
There are many benefits of postnatal exercise for the mother. Exercise can help the mother to regain her pre-pregnancy figure, improve her mood and energy levels required to handle well her baby, and reduce stress which can come with handling a baby.
How Personal Trainer Helps with Prenatal Exercise?
People generally think that personal trainers help clients who are trying to lose fat and weight or gain muscles and strength or achieve body transformation. However, personal trainers can also be a great asset for women who want to stay in shape and healthy during and post pregnancy. Here are some ways a personal trainer helps them with prenatal exercise:
- Personal trainer can help the clients come up with a safe and effective workout routine as per their stage and condition of pregnancy.
With all the changes their body is going through during pregnancy, it’s important to make sure that their workout routine is safe and won’t put more than acceptable stress on their body. A well-qualified and experienced personal trainer can help them design a workout that’s right for them and their pregnancy.
- Personal trainer can give the clients modifications for exercises as necessary.
As a pregnancy progresses, women may need to modify certain exercises to accommodate their changing body. A personal trainer can do this and show them how to do these modifications so that they can still get a great workout while staying safe.
- Personal trainer can provide motivation and support to the clients.
It’s common for pregnant women to feel self-conscious about their bodies and have trouble motivating themselves into a regular workout routine. They might also feel scared about exercising during pregnancy. A well-qualified and experienced personal trainer can motivate them and help them gain confidence to exercise and give them proper physical support so that they get the benefits of exercise without putting themselves at risk.
How Personal Trainer Helps with Postnatal Exercise?
Having a baby is one of the most amazing things that a woman can experience. However, along with the joys of motherhood comes a lot of new challenges.
For many women, getting back into shape after having a baby is one of the biggest challenges. This is where a personal trainer can help.
A personal trainer can help a new mother lose extra fat and weight, tone and strengthen her body and get into a good shape. A well-qualified and experienced personal trainer can develop a safe and effective postnatal exercise program that will improve her overall health and fitness and which she will need to take good care of her newborn baby.
Best Personal Training in Dubai & Online
If you are thinking about starting or continuing an exercise program during pregnancy, please contact me. I and my team of AbhiFit personal trainers will develop and lead you through an effective exercise program specific to your pregnancy.
If you know anyone who can benefit from this article then please share it with them. It’s a great effort to be a mother and we’re here to support their health and fitness well through science-based personal training in Dubai and online.
Please contact me to learn what I and my team AbhiFit can do for you through nutrition and personal training services. We train kids, teens, adults, elders, athletes and models in Dubai and online across the UAE and around the world. We help our clients achieve their fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain, strength gain, rehab, figure / physique transformation & healthy living goals.
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Abhinav Malhotra is an award-winning personal trainer, coach and sports nutritionist in Dubai, UAE. He also offers online services to clients around the world. A personal trainer par excellence, Abhi has worked with the world’s leading fitness chains, supplement brands and founded his own fitness academy in India. He has achieved successes for many clients from all backgrounds and has trained the Indian Army Rugby Team. He is the first International Kettlebell Sport athlete from India.