Your body changes and adapts during pregnancy. Some of it we can see, whilst other parts are harder to see. We can see the swollen ankles, the tummy expands, the hair gets thicker and we feel the weight pile on.
Whilst we know and understand all of these changes need to happen to bring a little life into the world, it can also feel very overwhelming that we are losing control over our looks and our bodies. To try and regain some of that control we need to consider the exercise and movement we will be adding into our schedules. Exercise will not only help you feel better and may slow down the weight gain; but it will also help to maintain your current fitness levels ready for when you are back into exercise post birth.
The first thing to mention and to consider is that you are in regular contact with your midwife and/or GP and take their advice on any exercise you wish to undertake during the crucial stages. Every pregnancy is different and some may carry risks which can be made worse by starting a new exercise programme. Further information can be found by visiting the NHS website.
Always ensure you perform a full warm up and cool down. You may rush late into class or even have to leave beforehand. Avoid doing this wherever possible. Your body is under more pressure with a little life on board and full warm ups and cool downs before and after your workout are crucial. A good class example to try out is Low Impact Aerobics, who cater for those who need extended warm ups and cool downs as part of their workout.
Speak to the instructor before your workout. Weather this is in the gym or a class setting, it is worth having a quiet word with the instructor before the class regarding your pregnancy. They will be able to offer alternatives and also explain if the session will be suitable for you. Please arrive 5-10mins before the session to allow you to have this conversation in private should you need to. You may even wish to send us an enquiry direct, before you visit the centre.
Think about the before and after. We do not have specific antenatal classes at our sites as we lack the qualified instructors. However, we do have instructors in all of our gyms who have had babies themselves and therefore can offer first-hand experience should you want to chat. We also offer bring baby sessions at Bramcote Leisure Centre when s/he arrives, so that you can continue to keep up your exercise programme, and bring them along with you. It may also be worth looking into a new wardrobe to make sure you are comfortable.
A swim is a great way to “lighten the load” as it brings a feeling of weightlessness to your body. After a long day of hauling the little one around in your tummy, a gentle relaxed swim might just be the answer to your prayers. If not for the exercise benefit, but just to give you some light relief. Our ladies only swims are a good place to start if you are new or nervous and want to come along. Our Aqua classes could be another way to get into light exercise. Whilst they are not “aquanatal” classes designed specifically for prenatal women, if you speak to the instructor beforehand they will be able to offer alternatives where necessary.
Great ideas for antenatal exercise include:
Low Impact Aerobics
Pelvic Floor Exercise
Or – any exercise you were doing before pregnancy – but maybe a little less intense.
The main thing is that you can always talk to us. We have a variety of instructors with a whole host of knowledge. Ultimately, any exercise plan you undertake during pregnancy will need support and advice. Please speak to your GP if you are worried and get the all clear from your midwife before you get started. Overall we all want the same thing, to give you and your baby a great experience that will benefit you antenatally and into motherhood.