Guest Blog from FittaMamma who are passionate about encouraging women to stay fit during pregnancy, keeping active and choosing a well-balanced nutritional pregnancy diet.
New Year, New Baby on the Way?
If you thought that pregnancy provided an excuse to hang up your trainers and avoid the January rush to the gym, read these facts and you’ll probably change your mind.
- Women who are physically active in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy are around a third less likely than inactive women to develop pre-eclampsia.
- Many common complaints of pregnancy, including tiredness, varicose veins and swelling of ankles, are reduced in women who exercise.
- Active pregnant women experience less insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression.
- Women who exercise are up to 31% less likely to give birth to large babies, reducing the risk of needing a C Section.
- Women who practice yoga 2 to 3 times per week experience a significant drop in their blood pressure, greater than a healthy diet alone.
- Women with low activity levels during pregnancy increase the risk of medical intervention during labour (37% requiring a C-section compared to 25% of more active women; 26% of inactive women requiring forceps assistance compared with 13% amongst women who exercise)
- Babies born to active mothers are likely to be leaner at birth (that’s less chubby!) develop more quickly and are more likely to exercise themselves later in life
Despite the many benefits of staying active for both mother AND baby, far too many women are unsure about what exercise is safe, how much they can do and how far into their pregnancies they can continue to work out.
Maternity activewear specialists FittaMamma are on a mission to encourage all Mammas-to-be to maintain their fitness throughout their pregnancies to benefit themselves AND their babies.
They say: ‘Our aim is to empower and motivate women to stay fit and active throughout their nine-month journey and feel comfortable getting back into fitness after their baby is born. The more physically fit you are the better you’ll feel about yourself and the way your body is changing. Giving birth is physically demanding, it makes sense to improve your strength and stamina in preparation and you’re more likely to make a speedy recovery after your baby is born too!
There are of course some guidelines you should be aware of when you exercise during pregnancy and you can find plenty of useful information about staying active safely on the FittaMamma website, along with workouts, videos, nutritional guidance and recipes.
Check out FittaMamma’s top tips for safe pregnancy exercise:
- Aim to maintain your fitness levels rather than strive for a big improvement
- Be sure to warm up before you start and cool down after your exercise session
- Carry on talking! If you’re exercising so hard that you can’t continue to chat then it’s time to ease up and slow down
- Stay fuelled. Don’t exercise on an empty stomach.
- Drink plenty of fluid. Small sips of water are best.
- Keep cool to avoid over-heating, exercising outdoors wherever possible. Moisture-wicking clothes will keep you cooler.
- Avoid exercises that involve you lying on your front after the first trimester and avoid lying on your back after 12 weeks (earlier if you feel dizzy or nauseous)
- Give yourself a day off from cardio-vascular exercise at least once a week.
- Include pelvic floor exercises as part of your daily routine.
- Ask a professional - if you have any concerns regarding your health or the health of your baby, discuss with your doctor or midwife. And make sure you talk to your teacher, trainer or coach to ensure they are aware that you’re pregnant
One other thing! Whether you continue with high impact exercise such as running or gym workouts or join a yoga class, whenever you’re exercising with a baby bump it’s important to keep your bump and breasts supported. The FittaMamma maternity fitnesswear range is technically designed to hold and support where you need it to make any exercise during or after pregnancy more comfortable. Team their supportive vests and leggings with a Hotmilk sports bra for optimum comfort during pregnancy and postnatal exercise.