Firstly, huge congratulations on your pregnancy. Carrying a life is such an incredible and exciting experience and all that women’s bodies do during this time is nothing short of miraculous. Of course, this privilege also places some strain on your body and I want to help you to understand how to look after and strengthen it to cope with the growing demands it is experiencing. Being and feeling strong and fit provides huge benefits for both yourself and your baby and helps facilitate a quick and full recovery postnatally.
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it
Exercise during pregnancy obviously has huge benefits to both you and your unborn child but a lot of women don’t feel confident about what exercise they can do. The reality is that prenatal fitness is much less about what you can do but more about how you do it. That is why my personal training places a huge emphasis on the following areas: the pelvic floor, core engagement, posture and breathing.
It’s not just about reduced impact
Many ‘prenatal specialist’ workouts simply rely on the notion of ‘reduced impact’. This may well be appropriate for many women at some point during pregnancy, but simply reducing the impact does not make a workout ‘specialist’. To support and strengthen the body the focus must be on how you move and hold yourself. Depending on your personal pre pregnancy fitness, avoiding impact may not be necessary, particularly in the first and second trimester. This is why generic prenatal workouts are not as effective as having a plan tailored to your preferences, needs and fitness levels.
Pregnancy can be a challenging time. To see and feel your body changing so much and so rapidly can feel unsettling. Exercise can really help you to feel more in control and more comfortable in yourself, both physically and mentally.
Take control of what you can
When it comes to labour there are so many unknowns and no one can possibly predict the story of your delivery which can feel daunting and unsettling, but one thing you can largely control is how strong your body is. Though this may benefit you physically during your birth, it may not, depending on how your story unfolds, but what it will undoubtedly do is help you feel empowered and prepared mentally and also help boost the speed and extent of your recovery afterwards.