I am happy to share that I have completed a new certification to expand my training knowledge and add an additional service through Woodworth Wellness. I am now certified through ACE (American Council on Exercise) to be a Pregnancy and Postpartum Exercise Instructor!
Inspired by my two sisters-in-law who are both expecting, I wanted to be a resource for them during this time when it comes to exercise. There are a lot of misconceptions about exercise when dealing with pregnancy. What exercises are safe? What is unsafe? How hard can you push it? When do you need to start dialing back? How quickly can you return to exercise once the baby is born? I wanted to be able to confidently answer all these questions for my family and for future clients alike who are experiencing the same uncertainties.
Benefits of Exercise During and After Pregnancy
There are a plethora of benefits of exercise during and after pregnancy. Increased energy, less physical discomfort, and improved self-image, mood and posture are all benefits a pregnant mother will experience every day as a result of exercise. Exercise has also been studied to reduce risk for gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and a lower incidence for Caesarean section births as well as less time pushing during vaginal deliveries (Oh Baby! Fitness, 2021). The benefits of exercise during pregnancy not only help the mother, but the baby, too. Babies born to mothers who exercise tend to be leaner, are less likely to be colicky, and have higher intelligence scores and better oral language skills (Clap, 1998).
Much like for the average human being, it is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that all pregnant women should be getting in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Activities with a high risk of falling (skiing, surfing, etc.) and contact sports should be avoided during this time. However, activities like strength training and brisk walking are highly encouraged. Additionally, the ACOG guidelines state that women who have been training prior to getting pregnant can continue to train at the level they were previously training at and proceed with their training like normal. On the contrary, if a woman has not been consistently exercising before pregnancy, she is encouraged to meet with her physician first to get proper approval.
Returning to Exercise Following Delivery
Returning to exercise following childbirth is different for everyone. Some women are able to return to light exercise days after the birth of the baby while it takes some others a few weeks. According to the ACOG, “exercise routines may be resumed gradually after pregnancy as soon as medically safe, depending on the mode of delivery, vaginal or cesarean, and the presence or absence of medical or surgical complications” (ACOG, 2021). As a general rule of thumb, before resuming exercise, it is best to first talk with your physician to get proper clearance to resume exercise.
Yours in Wellness,
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Oh Baby! Fitness Prenatal and Postpartum Training https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/continuing-education/course/4a5wy8w6x/oh-baby-fitness-pregnancy-and-postpartum-exercise-instructor-training/