Did you ever watch What To Expect When You’re Expecting? And think, I’m going to be Elizabeth Banks, who has the awful pregnancy experience while Brooklyn Decker is still wearing stilettos and going to pre-natal yoga classes. Everyone’s pregnancy is different, but staying fit and healthy during a pregnancy is good for you and your baby. However, there are certain things that you should take into consideration when you’ve got a bubba growing inside of you.
There’s a certain false impression that working on those abs is going to help you push out the baby when the (terrifying) time comes but accredited exercise physiologist Kate Faber from Precision Physio is here to bust that myth, saying it’s just not going to help in the way you think it is.
Kate Says, “Many women (and some medical, health and fitness professionals) believe there is great need to strengthen the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, in order to assist in pushing the baby out during delivery. While this may seem logical, the abdominal muscles are not directly involved in delivering the baby – the uterus and pelvic floor are responsible for that!”
And if you’re thinking that’s not a problem, but you’ll continue to do crunches to make it easier to get that flat belly after your pregnancy, you should definitely think again about that one.
Pregnancy exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and minimize the extra weight gain that isn’t pregnancy weight but just ‘I can eat whatever I want weight’. Everyone gains weight during pregnancy, but let’s take a tip from Jessica Simpson to put down the deep fried Oreos and Southern spiced wings and keep it healthy for the baby. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in some pregnancy-friendly exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and not have to shock your system once you’ve given birth and you’re looking to get your pre-baby bod back.
Kate also has some great pregnancy tips for the type of exercise you are looking to do. You should always take your baby’s health into consideration and see your body as a place that you are nurturing a life. Women don’t need to be completely wrapped in cotton wool when they’re pregnant, but there are safety tips to follow when considering how you’re going to work out.
Let’s take a look at Kate’s top pregnancy workout tips:
- Include a gradual warm-up and cool-down pre and post exercise.
- Exercise at an intensity that is comfortable for you – avoid unsupervised high-intensity exercise during pregnancy if you weren’t doing it before you fell pregnant.
- Stay well hydrated and avoid over-heating.
- Avoid any activities (e.g. very heavy lifting) which cause you to hold your breath or alter your posture.
- Beyond 16 weeks, be careful when lying on your back – you may be more comfortable in a seated or incline position.
- Avoid activities which increase the risk of physical injury (e.g. contact sports).
- If you do develop abdominal separation, seek guidance around exercises you need to include or avoid.
- Get moving – reduce time spent sitting and get regular exercise in!
- Maintain good bowel habits – go when you need to go!
- Practice safe manual handling techniques – whether it be at work or home.
Keeping it gentle is key and activities like walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are low impact activities that keep your body fit and build a strong cardiovascular system, which makes mum and bub healthier.
For more information about Kate Faber and Precision Physio, you can visit their website.
Images via myrtylebeachbirthservices.com and precisionathletica.com.au