There is a lot of information out there on the benefits of exercising during pregnancy. Simply put; it increases mothers’ energy levels, decreases the amount of weight gained, keeps joints supple, helps prepare your body for labour and helps your body return to its pre pregnant shape. The benefits are countless.
As a general rule whatever exercise you were doing before you fell pregnant is ok to continue during your pregnancy. However, it is important to always listen to your body and not to overdo any exercise. Many pregnant women look for trainers or group classes to join during their pregnancies which can be greatly beneficial to both mother and baby…if they have the right trainer.
Here are a few questions to have in mind when looking for a Personal Trainer, Pilates or Yoga Instructor:
Do they have a CPR certificate? Fitness professionals are required to update their CPR knowledge every 2 years.
Are they familiar with pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes? They need to be aware of any complications which may arise during a pregnancy to know whether it is safe to continue training or not.
Does the trainer know how to modify exercises? For example; it is not advised to lie on ones back after 20 weeks.
Do they know how to work stomach muscles correctly? Traditional crunches or Pilates Stomach Series are a big no no! Also knowing how to get up and down correctly is important as well to avoid a separation of abdominal muscles.
Are they familiar with pregnancy specific movements such as pregnancy squats and movements to reposition a baby? Knowing which muscles to strengthen or lengthen during pregnancy is very important as the needs of a pregnant woman differs for each trimester.
How much experience do they have teaching pregnant women and if they feel comfortable with it? Some trainers may avoid training pregnant women all together.
Just a few questions to your would be trainer could make all the difference in the quality of training that you receive. If you are not comfortable with one trainer then continue the search until you find one that is right for you. The safety of both you and your baby always come first.