Training for a healthy pregnancy
As a fitness trainer, I have trained many, many pregnant women. In an effort to understand the ins and outs of labor, I have been attending classes and am now a DONA International Trained Doula. It has been an amazing experience and I now realize that staying physically fit during pregnancy can make all the difference between a tired, draining birthing process and a strong, healthy and alert labor.
Imagine the work it takes to train for a marathon. Leading up to the big race, the athlete must improve her cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and nutrition. Similarly, the pregnant woman trains for labor and delivery. In the weeks and months leading up to her due date, she can attain a higher rate of cardio, strengthen the muscles she’ll need for giving birth and toting around the new little person and do stretches to ease discomforts and open the body in preparation for delivery. Additionally, she needs proper nutrition to give her baby the best chance of a healthy life ahead.
On marathon day, the athlete fuels up, stretches and warms up before the race. Similarly, the laboring woman should fuel her body for the enduring task ahead. She can drink coconut water or gatorade to keep energy storage at optimum levels. She should warm her muscles up and stretch her legs for the hundreds of squats, long walks in the hallway and exhausting pushing sequences that lie in front of her.
With proper training, the delivering mother will feel empowered during one of the most challenging times of her life. She will have confidence knowing that she put the hours of training in to have a successful birth!