Guest pregnancy blog by maternity fitnesswear specialists, FittaMamma, 13/02/2018
Photo credit: Maria Kanellis-Bennett
Exercise and pregnancy: the facts
If you’re tempted to use your pregnancy as a reason to put your feet up and take it easy, read these five facts and you’ll probably change your mind:
- Exercise can help alleviate many common pregnancy complaints, including backache, varicose veins and swollen ankles.
- Active pregnant women tend to sleep better and are less prone to headaches, anxiety and depression.
- Regular exercise throughout your pregnancy helps you avoid excessive weight gain and lowers your risk of gestational diabetes.
- Women who are physically active in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia.
- Women who exercise are up to a third less likely to need a caesarean section.
Pregnant Not Powerless
We are spearheading a 'Pregnant Not Powerless' campaign to raise awareness of just how important it is to exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy.
'We want to empower and motivate pregnant women to stay fit. It’s so important to stay active during pregnancy - regular exercise, raising your heart rate and maintaining your strength makes such a positive difference. Our aim is to change some of the very outdated attitudes towards women exercising with a baby bump and encourage all pregnant women to stay fit and enjoy the benefits.'
The Pregnant Not Powerless campaign is supported by many pregnant athletes and influencers, including gold medal Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, Royal Ballet dancer Tara Brigitte-Bhavnani, and (of course) FittaMamma co-founder Alexandra McCabe, who is pregnant with her first child.
Staying fit during pregnancy
Despite the many benefits of staying fit for both mother and baby, many women are still unsure about how much exercise they can and should do and what exercise is safe to continue during pregnancy.
Joining a class can help you to keep fit, stay motivated and meet other mums-to-be too. Find a pre and postnatal exercise classes near you, or, if you prefer to exercise at home, these trimester specific workout videos are a great way to get started.
'Staying fit and healthy in pregnancy is important for so many reasons. Exercise helps with confidence and the endorphins provide that sense of happiness and calm. Listening to your body, wearing suitable clothing and having a smile on your face are my 3 top tips for exercise in pregnancy!' Dame Sarah Storey, Paralympian
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 hold a conversation then it’s time to ease up and slow down.
- Stay fuelled – don’t exercise on an empty stomach.
- Stay hydrated – make sure you drink plenty, small sips of water are best.
- Keep cool to avoid over-heating, 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.
- Choose fitnesswear that keeps your breasts and baby bump supported – the FittaMamma range is designed specifically for pregnant women.
- 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.
Watch Tommy's midwife Kate and Alex from FittaMamma talk about exercise
More about FittaMamma
FittaMamma.com has lots of resources for pregnant and postnatal women about how to exercise safely, including workout guides and videos.
'I’m so proud to be part of the Pregnant Not Powerless campaign and love wearing my campaign vest to the gym! Regular exercise has been a key part of my pregnancy and I’m feeling fit, healthy and well-prepared for the arrival of my baby.'Alexandra, co-founder of FittaMamma
The FittaMamma maternity fitnesswear range is designed specifically for pregnant women. Our vests and leggings work like a sports bra for your bump, supporting where you need it most and holding your bump securely, whatever exercise you choose to enjoy - whether it’s running, gym workouts or a regular yoga class.
People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to stay active during your pregnancy.
Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Exercising during your pregnancy is safe and healthy. You can do most types of exercise in pregnancy, including running, pilates, weights, yoga and swimming.
With more than 1 in 10 mums developing a mental illness during pregnancy or in the year that follows, we know how important it is to raise awareness of maternal mental health.
Research shows that the health of mothers and fathers BEFORE pregnancy affects the health of the future pregnancy and baby.
We take a look behind the headlines about paracetamol and ibuprofen use in pregnancy.
The international retrospective study of 1,293 women who take part in parkrun found no evidence of negative effects of running on the baby.