Prepare & Plan
Sometimes pregnancies “just happen.” But if you’re able to plan out the “when” part, having a strong body may make all the difference in a healthy pregnancy. Research has shown, time and again, that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for both mom and baby long after birth. ACOG states that pregnant women can and should continue with their normal exercise routine throughout their pregnancy (aside from high-impact or dangerous sports, like kickboxing or snowboarding). Why not begin the regimen while your unborn is still merely a flirt and twinkle in your eyes?
Purely from a fitness standpoint, there are many things a woman can (and should) do to prepare her body for pregnancy. Let’s face it: so little is in your control throughout the entire process that you’ll want to stack the odds in your favor in whatever way you can. Read on:
1. A strong core and pelvic floor are integral to keeping the baby securely inside you for the months ahead and may help keep bed-rest at bay. Perform 30 kegels every day and work abdominal planks, crunches and quad-peds into your weekly fitness routine.
2. Almost every pregnant woman complains of low-back pain at some point during her pregnancy. Minimize your risk by strengthening your upper and middle back muscles with seated cable rows, bent-over dumbbell rows and reverse flys.
3. Inevitably, each pregnancy ends in labor: some longer than others, but by increasing cardiovascular endurance, you’ll have the stamina to withstand longer-than-average labor and keep a C-section away. Increase your time spent on the elliptical to 60 minutes.
4. Mental toughness and body-awareness are great tools to have, especially when it may feel like everything from your butt to your belly is growing at an out-of-control pace. Practice yoga and meditate: both will help prepare you for patience in the long road ahead. Being in the moment and enjoying the process will translate to a much more relaxed pregnancy. After all, happy mommy=happy baby.
For a more in-depth look at prenatal fitness and nutrition, sign up for my Prenatal Seminar hosted by Samantha Lynch, R.D., and myself, a Pre/Postnatal Fitness Guru and Doula. Held on October 24th, 2011 from 6:30-9:30 pm, sign up by emailing me at Jenny@skoogfit.com. The cost is $50 per person and will be held at Ripley Grier Studios on 8th ave @ 38th street. Space is limited.