Shake That Body!
I know there are lots of excuses not to exercise when we’re pregnant. My favourites were: I’m too tired, my legs are swollen, my belly gets in the way, I have reflux, I have to pee every 15 minutes, I’m already sweating enough as it is (!), etc.
But doing a bit of exercise daily will not only help you have a healthier pregnancy and help you grow a healthier baby, it will also help you have a better labour and delivery, and an easier time after you give birth.
What kinds of prenatal exercises can you and can you NOT do?
- Exercise daily, a little bit goes a long way.
- Cardio is good for you! Perhaps you’ll want to rethink training for that triathlon, but a bit of cardio won’t harm the baby. Check with a private trainer to get an adapted workout for your growing belly.
- Continue the exercises and sports you were doing before pregnancy, unless you feel that you can endanger yourself or the baby. I rode my bike until I was about 6 months pregnant – I was very comfortable riding until I skidded and almost fell. So then I felt it was time to stop. We can more easily lose our balance when pregnant, so you may want to take a hiatus from sports such as rollerblading, downhill skiing or kick-boxing!
- It is not recommended to begin a new sport or exercise routine unless it’s one of the three mentioned in the following point – you can start these anytime.
- Three great workouts that we suggest: WALKING, SWIMMING AND YOGA!
What can you do after baby is born?
- You may start doing light exercises, like pelvic tilts and kegels, right after birth, depending on how you are feeling, but it is suggested to wait 6 weeks to begin actual workouts, such as postnatal mommy-baby yoga classes.
- See a pelvic floor specialist to ensure your pelvic floor is ready for a workout. You’ll leave with some exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor so to avoid any incontinence issues down the road.
- My trainer was adamant about not doing any high impact workouts for at least six months to a year. Now I know that sounds like a lot of time for some people, but sometimes it takes that long to heal.
- Check for diastasis recti – the separation of the abdominal muscles. If you do have this issue, you’ll need to avoid exercises such as abdominal crunches, oblique curls, roll-ups/roll downs, as well as some yoga poses (cow-pose, up-dog, backbends, etc.) – all of which make the problem worse. Seeing a trainer specialized in postpartum care will be beneficial.
- Yoga is a great exercise for new moms. I also really enjoyed the Cardio Stroller classes given around town. They allowed me to get fit, meet other moms in my area and bring baby with me. And walking is always a great way to feel energized and get you out of the house.
Jenny’s Yoga Teaching Schedule
Rock the Cradle doula, Jenny Berthiaume, teaches at various yoga studios around Montreal. She is also a Certified Yoga Therapist, and can help you with issues such as diastasis recti and a weak pelvic floor.
Call us if you want to take a class!
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