During pregnancy, unless otherwise advised by your doctor, it is perfectly safe and healthy for you to exercise. In fact, exercise during pregnancy has many proven health benefits for both mother and baby, with studies showing that women who stay active during their pregnancy tend to have shorter labour times and fewer interventions during labour than those who do not exercise during pregnancy. Staying active can also help to improve sleep and reduce the symptoms of common complaints during pregnancy, like varicose veins, joint swelling, fatigue and stress.
Your body needs to be at its strongest for pregnancy and labour, so strength training can be incredibly beneficial. Your coach will guide you through a personalised training programme that adapts as you progress through the different stages of pregnancy, making modifications whenever they are needed. Key areas for mums-to-be include learning to train the pelvic floor muscles and preventing postural issues, notably by strengthening upper back muscles and dedicating time to stretching of the pectoral muscles.
You can train right up to the end of the pregnancy, if you wish to. It is up to you to decide when to stop. Some women decide to nest at home 4 weeks before labour, others feel like they have lots of energy and want to keep training right up to birth. There is no right or wrong way - see how you feel and go with it. Your trainer will always be available to talk about this. They are here to support you every step of the way.
After the birth, you will need at least 6 weeks to recover (or 12 weeks if you deliver via Caesarean section). Your doctor will then see you and sign you off as safe to exercise. The postnatal period can be an incredibly challenging time, but when you’re ready, your coach will be right here to support and guide you as you get back into training. Your body has done something amazing and it deserves the proper attention to recover fully. This isn’t a time for smashing goals, but a time to strengthen your body to meet the demands of becoming a parent.
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