In this post, I’m going to be sharing 4 tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy. Understanding how to train safely and stay fit while you’re pregnant can be scary… luckily I’m taking out all the guesswork.
I still remember the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time. I was coming back from a work trip in Italy and was feeling weird. We had been trying to have a baby for nearly a year with no luck. At times I really thought we weren’t going to be able to start our own little family.
I arrived home from my work trip with my pregnancy test in hand and shared the news with my husband.
As an athlete, I thought I knew what my pregnancy was going to look like: I was going to be one of those bada$$ women who cruise through pregnancy. It didn’t take long for me to realize I would probably have to tone my wishes down as I started to experience morning sickness (more like all day sickness…) and a feeling of tiredness that I had never felt before in my life.
You see, pregnancy (and motherhood for that matter) is an incredibly humbling experience, and this is something I learned very quickly during my journey, especially when it came to my fitness.
As a mom who has gone through 2 pregnancies (two c-sections) in 14 months and as a coach who has worked with over 2000 women during and after their pregnancies, I see that there are two extremes when it comes to exercising during pregnancy:
Extreme 1– Pregnant Women are delicate little flowers who should not do anything
Extreme 2– Go hard or go home! You’re pregnant, not disabled!
But, the reality is that the middle ground is where safe and effective training for pregnant women happens.
So, I would like to share my top 4 tips that will help give you a foundation to a fit and strong pregnancy, as well as bring some clarity to taboo talks of this stage of a woman’s life.
So let’s jump right in!
4 Tips for a Fit & Healthy Pregnancy
Don’t just listen to your body
During pregnancy, it is crucial to understand that there is a lot going on with our bodies, and a lot of times we don’t really know how all those changes are impacting us physically and emotionally.
The old holy grail of training during pregnancy is the good ol’ advice:
“Just listen to your body.”
But, one thing I would like us all to take a minute to ask ourselves is:
What exactly are we listening to??
9 times out of 10, women don’t really know what they should be listening to.
It reminds me of one time that I took my son to the doctor because he was having some difficulty breathing. As he was being seen by the doctor and she was doing all the checks, gave me her stethoscope and told me to listen to his lungs.
I nodded and listened to his lungs… the problem?
I had NO IDEA what I was listening to. No clue.
This is exactly how most pregnant women feel when listening to their bodies while exercising during pregnancy.
Finding reliable information and educating yourself on common pre and postnatal symptoms such as pelvic pain, Incontinence (urinary and fecal), diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, and ligament pain will empower and enable you to make educated choices when it comes to your health and fitness during and after pregnancy.
It is also incredibly important to surround yourself with professionals who can help and guide you in this stage of life such as Pre and Postnatal Fitness Coach, Pelvic floor Physical Therapist, Therapist, Doula….
The Can v.s. Should Mindset
Just like in decisive moments of life, pregnancy is a season where we need to make wise choices, because if not there might be consequences.
And, just so we’re clear… I am not saying this for scaremongering purposes, but I am saying this so you can better understand the importance of your decisions when it comes to your health and fitness during pregnancy.
Every day when you get in your car to drive you can either put your seatbelt on or not, and just because you CAN leave the house and drive your car without wearing a seatbelt, it does not mean you should. Why? Because it might have consequences.
When it comes to your Nutrition, you CAN have a gallon of ice cream every day for lunch; however, it does not mean you should. Why? Because it might have consequences.
Training during pregnancy is no different than the examples I gave you above. There are a lot of things you might be able to do with your bump:
-Run a marathon at 39 weeks pregnant? Sure.
-Do handstand pushups at 38 weeks pregnant? Sure
-Sign up for hot yoga 3x/week? Sure
You can do these things, but in my professional opinion and expertise, it does not necessarily mean you should.
Because they might come with consequences.
The importance of Exercise Modifications
In my over 10 years of experience as a trainer, I have worked with women who have never done any type of workouts in their lives! And I have worked with highly trained and experienced athletes as well as other personal trainers.
One common misconception I see happen often, especially with the more intermediate-advanced trainees is the idea that they don’t need modification to exercises during pregnancy because they are more experienced. However, the reality is that a lot of the physical changes that come with pregnancy don’t really care how advanced you are. That’s why I’m including exercise modifications as one of my top tips for a healthy and fit pregnancy.
It is incredibly important to keep an open mind during this stage of life! Understand that modifying your movement and scaling back doesn’t make you weak or less than. It makes you smart and incredibly respectful of your body and your unborn baby.
This is a temporary stage of life
During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes… A LOT! It can feel like we will never have control over our bodies and emotions ever again, and that our fitness will be a never-ending modification of exercises.
Although it feels like forever when you are in the middle of it all, it is important to keep on reminding yourself that this is a season of life. And, most importantly, it is necessary to keep in the forefront of your mind that this is not only a very special moment but also a moment where the decisions on what to do with your body and health have a direct impact on not only you but on that beautiful growing baby, you have inside of you.
Remember That Pregnancy is a Temporary Stage Of Life, But Postpartum Is Forever!
And before you go, remember that you are not alone on this journey! In fact, you have me, a pre and postnatal certified trainer and mom of two tiny humans, cheering you on every step of the way! If you’re ready for even more guidance and help on your journey, then I want to invite you to learn more about my pregnancy program within the Mother Strong Leauge. Click HERE to learn more!
I want to invite you to share this post! Help other women learn my 4 Tips for a Fit & Healthy Pregnancy. The easiest way to share is on Pinterest! Simply share one of the images below. You can also follow me @nathaliamelofit for more tips and inspiration.