Working out throughout pregnancy is a fantastic thing to do, not only to keep your body feeling strong, fit, and able, but also to move and connect with your growing baby while preparing for labor and postpartum recovery! There is a bit of fear connected often times with movement, and what you can and cannot do, so here are some tips!
First and foremost-make sure you are approved by your doctor for any fitness regiment and ask if your body and pregnancy have any limitations (we are all different, and being compassionate with ourselves in this respect is essential).
Tip #1 If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, don’t do it! Listen to your instincts and don’t question them.
Tip #2 Lying on your stomach is safe throughout your first trimester (again, approve with doctor), but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it-don’t do it!
Tip #3 If you have any diastasis recti (a tearing of the abdominal wall), avoid planking and major twisting.
Tip #4 Working your obliques is fantastic! They help you push during labor, so don’t leave them out of your routine if you don’t have to. A great option is a gentle side plank (gentle meaning one knee down in a tripod).
Tip #5 Work that booty! The glutes act like a base of support for your growing belly, so having those strong muscles will help support your lower back big time.
Tip #6 Chisel those arms, girl! Yes, this is one area that we can aesthetically control to an extent. That’s not why I’m telling you to grab those free weights and go for it though. You are about to spend the majority of your day carrying around an adorable little bowling ball, and let’s talk about that gear! That car seat, diaper bag, stroller base are super heavy and you’re gonna want your arms, back, and postural muscles working double duty for you.
Tip #7 Drink tons of water! Your body needs more now, so stop and drink that water even if you don’t necessarily feel like you’re desperate for it.
Tip #8 Take tons of breaks. You have so much more blood in your body now that you will get fatigued way quicker. This is not you being out of shape, this is your body physically reacting to creating a person, so take that break girl!
Andrea Speir is the creator of the Speir Method and founder and owner of Speir Pilates in Santa Monica, California.