Exercise during Pregnancy with Coach Sarah
Exercise during pre and post pregnancy
We all get told how important exercise is during pregnancy to help with many different aspects from the health of Mum and baby during pregnancy, the labour and delivery of baby, and the recovery and return to exercise post baby.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there about what is appropriate for all stages, but here at Maia CrossFit, we can help guide you in the right direction for what you need to think about when applying it to your current exercise regime.
Number 1 rule: Discuss an exercise plan with your care provider.
If they are OK with it, go for it. If they are uneducated around the exercise you are doing, pass on your coaches details so it can be discussed. If they say ‘no’ for medical reasons, then stop.
Keep exercising if you can, but be mindful of what you are doing.
Try to observe your body. Pushing through a hard workout with no energy won’t do you any favours. Adjust your intensity and even exercise ‘type’ to make sure you look after the both of you. It’s not the time to make personal bests, but it’s also not a time to do nothing. Your hard workout will change over time. An easy track run, will eventually turn into a hard track walk.
When to reduce high-impact training?
It is time to remove high-impact movement once your belly begins to expand more or if it just doesn’t feel right or comfortable. If we aren’t using our core and pelvic floor properly, we can create some issues down the line. Having your pelvic floor too tight can hinder progress in labour, but having little control can have the same problem too. After baby is born, having good control and awareness of your pelvic floor will help your return to exercise. Get in touch with a women’s pelvic health physiotherapist to ensure you are on the right track.
Once baby is born, give yourself time!
Don’t put pressure on yourself to return to your fitness level before baby. Allow your body to heal, and adjust to everything. Your hormone levels are different to before, and more often than not, your lifestyle and the demands involved are completely different. Move and exercise for you, and not because that’s what you ‘should be doing’.
One of our members, Jennifer Pitts, returned to Maia CrossFit six weeks post baby. “I knew that it would be starting from 0 again and my body had just gone through a lot, so I reminded myself to take baby steps”.
Jenn is doing what is best for her body and having fun at the same time. She set a goal to complete the 2019 CrossFit Open and she hit a new PB (personal best), a 35kg squat clean during the CrossFit Open Workout 19.2. “I love that I stuck to my goal, I am not where I was before getting pregnant but I’m getting there”. Besides feeling strong, Jennifer says that exercising really helps her mental wellbeing. “I enjoy my morning routine with the baby and then, in the middle of the day, it’s nice to take time for me and do some exercise”.
Be kind to yourself.
The biggest thing I have learnt (or more like still learning!) is that this is a new season and experience for me. I am the weakest and most unfit I have been in my adult life, but my heart is at its fullest! My exercise type and frequency is very different to pre-baby days, and in the beginning I would really let it get to me. But right now, daily dog walks and at least 1 workout is perfect. Anything more is a bonus!
Be kind to yourself as you navigate motherhood. Some days having a cuddle all afternoon with a sleeping baby is much more fulfilling than a workout.
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with coach Sarah De Bes.