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So, I just peed on a stick & it was positive! When pregnant with my first I worked out once a week at NYSC with a prenatal certified trainer (plus 1 day of prenatal yoga & 1 day of aqua aerobics). I think I was in the best shape of my life. I would like to get involved in the same routine here in the east bay. Who did you work with so you didn't become a boat? Mama needs to get in shape.
Hi, I am 23 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and am look to join a prenatal exercise type class(yoga, pilates, swimming. I live in Montclair but can travel up to 30 minutes away- depending on time of day etc. i'm hoping to get recommendations from moms who really loved one that they took, and also I'm hoping to meet OTHER PREGNANT MOMS that may want to try one of these classes out with me(couldnt fit this in title:(, but will post separately BPN, don't worry!). I didn't try any of these classes with my first, but have heard that they can be very beneficial to your energy during pregnancy and can be helpful during labor and delivery. Your recommendations are appreciated and i look forward to meeting some of you to check this out with me!
Can anyone help me with a recommendation for an obgyn who has experience with exercise during pregnancy? I am already very active and work out regularly. I am looking to find an obgyn who can help me continue to exercise during my pregnancy. Thanks for your advice. Lauren
Some OBGYN's are still a little behind the curve when it comes to prenatal fitness, and the web site will give you the tools that you need to discuss your specific needs with your doctor so that you can have the healthiest pregnancy and baby as possible.
Prenatal exercise provides numerous profound benefits to both the expectant mom and her developing baby, and you deserve a hearty pat on the back for wanting to keep in top condition during your pregnancy. Helene Byrne, BeFit-Mom, www.befitmom.com
I am pregnant w/ my second child, about one month. I've realized that I am hopelessly out of shape, so tired, and am struggling w/ my posture. It seems like it happened over night. I searched the pilates info on BPN, but most of the information is not immediately current. As a beginner to pilates, should I start w/ an indivual? who? or a class? Mat or equipment? Or an individual and transfer to a class? Are there classes that use equipment? thank you for any and all information you can provide. feel free to email me off list. nita
I am 13 weeks pregnant with my first child and am trying to figure out the pros/cons of fairly intense exercise. Pre- pregnancy, I was working out 3-4x/week on machines (elliptical, bicycle, etc.) and also lifting weights (free and machines). The cardio stuff is typically at a heart rate of 160-170.
I am trying to figure out how much exercise is healthy and how much is risky during pregnancy. Most of the stuff you read online is quite conservative -- I have even read in more than one place that you should keep your heart rate below 115, which for me is just vacuuming or something. My nurse-midwife said to keep my heart rate below 140, and that lifting weights is okay as long as I don't do any lifting that involves my midsection.
Exercise is an enormous stress-reliever for me, and also helps stabilize my moods. And I can't help but believe that if exercise is so good for individuals, it should be healthy for babies too. During the first eight or nine weeks, I was so fatigued that this wasn't really an issue -- I felt tired like I had the flu -- but now that my energy's back, I want to get back at it. I tried keeping my heart rate below 140, but it just didn't feel like I was getting a workout at all. I would *love* to work out more intensely, but don't want to do anything too risky.
I've been looking for more info, and read the book _Exercising through Your Pregnancy_, by James Clapp, which is very pro- intense exercise, but I'd like to hear more opinions. Are there exercise junkies or athletes out there who have researched this issue? How much is too much -- particularly with regard to heart rate? How about weightlifting? And have you worked with an OB or midwife who was supportive of higher- intensity exercise? I hate to be working out surreptitiously and not telling my midwife because she doesn't approve... I can't be the only person who has ever had this issue.
Thanks for your advice! anonymous
Even though there was no evidence that exercise caused my miscarriages, the fourth time I pretty much sat on my butt, went for walks every once in awhile, thought about doing yoga, and got in the pool now and then for very low impact exercise. I gained a lot of (but according to my doctor, not too much) weight. The last couple months were hard. I was not terrifically fit going into labor. But you know what? Even though now I feel very out of shape, I have a really great baby. And slowly but surely I am starting to feel more fit.
If I got pregnant again, I would take it even easier, even though I'd love to be one of those moms showing off my midriff while pushing the jogger at six weeks postpartum. But that's just me. I have a friend who ran a marathon while 4 months pregnant and another who ran long distances regularly until she was 25 weeks along. Both of their pregnancies and kids were and are fine.
Good luck with your decision and pregnancy! wish I were in better shape but glad I have my baby
In terms of level of intensity of workout, the current guidelines relate to ''perceived level of exertion,'' and recommend that you stay at moderate levels, which basically means that you could carry on a conversation. And, you should watch that you don't overheat, and stay hydrated.
After I got over my first-trimester exhaustion, I pretty much continued my pre-preg workout, including running, weightlifting and XC skiing. As I got bigger, I adjusted some things, finding, for example, that the elliptical trainer was more comfortable than running. XC skiing up to 30 weeks felt great -- the drive up there was the hard part! For my weightlifting routine, the only thing I changed was giving up bench press (I used the upright pec fly machines instead) and obviously changed ab routines to accomodate the belly. I got some funny looks at the gym doing lat pulldowns with a big ol' belly, but it felt really good. I made sure to concentrate on form and I didn't worry at all about advancing my routine.
There are sometimes reasons not to exercise, so it is important to have a care provider you can discuss this with and who won't just cite 10-year old guidelines as hard and fast rules. I saw Bill Isenberg. He is wonderful for so many reasons, not least of which is that when I told him I wanted to go XC skiing, he shrugged and said ''make sure to drink lots of water.''
Congrats on your pregnancy, and have fun! anne
I was quite fit before my pregnancy. Then I curled up in a chair during the first trimester morning sickness and then never felt better in my life than when I was exercising for the remainder of the pregnancy. When I went back to the gym I was first careful about taking my heart rate, but then decided to monitor more how I was feeling rather than exactly how fast my heart was beating.
-- I made sure that I would be able to talk comfortably while exercising. In other words, I tried not to get breathless.
-- I was VERY careful not to get too hot (always choosing a well ventilated spot).
-- I always drank at least a quart of water during the class and ate really well and drank LOTS more water throughout the day.
-- And, I tried hard to listen to what my body and baby were telling me. (My baby seemed to like the class and would often kick along with me.)
Watching myself and my belly in the mirror during class was so fun. I have never been prouder of my body and never felt better -- emotionally or physically. (Now three plus years and one more child later, I have yet to return to the gym... too busy with kids -- a whole other kind of joy... So, now is your chance to focus on you!)
I wish you all the best! Connellan
Generally maximum heart rate of 140-150 or set limit in consultation with your doctor- you should be able to carry on a conversation, not be so winded that you can't. if you exercise too hard you deprive the fetus of your blood supply. Avoid overheating and exercising in hot conditions. Drink plenty of fluid Don't exercise laying on your back after the end of the 6th month. No ballistic sports Stretch gently- to 80% of your max. Don't hold breath No inner thigh machines- leg lifts are ok, but do not add weight to this. Be careful and aware of abdominal separation. Ab work is ok, but if there is separation it is not. Avoid inversion, especially after 3rd month. You need to emphasize pelvic floor work while you do all your other exercises. Also hip flexor and side stretches are good.
So probably you need back off how much weight you are lifting. And, again, it might seem fine now, but later it won't be. If you feel pain, especially sudden pain you need to back off.
Anyway, there is lots more that can be said on the subject and I am glad to talk with you. I am a pilates teacher and just taught through my pregnancy and also took a class with a physical therapist about appropriate pregnancy exercise.Commonsense is probably the best advice. Anyway, good luck and take it easy. Andrea
Honestly, that gives you a rough estimate. You may be one of those people that have a high max heart rate. The only way to determine that is by having an exercise stress test, which no one in his/her right mind would do on a pregnant woman. Regardless, the thing to keep in mind is the limitation of not raising your core body temperature.
You also donUt want to become breathless during your exercise session limiting the oxygen supply to your growing baby. You can still exercise to get those brain chemicals circulating that combat stress. You just may have to do a lower intensity exercise for longer duration to achieve those benefits that you gain faster with more intense exercise.
As far as lifting weights goes, I agree with not doing any specific resistance work with weights for the abdominal region. In my opinion, pregnant women should avoid exercise that stretch the trunk region into extension (straining on the abdominals), use a lower weight and make sure that you are stabilizing with your abdominals just prior & throughout your movement. If you are unable to stabilize your spine you are lifting too heavy a weight. Doing fast or ballistic movements can fool you into thinking you are stable when you are not. You end up using momentum to assist you instead of your own muscle power. This may be hard to tell on yourself. I would STRONGLY recommend having a trainer observe you a few times to get feedback. Also you should be careful of the Adductor machine. Placing your legs in maximum stretch can cause irritation and problems at the symphasis pubis (where your pelvic bones join in the front of your body). This can become a serious & painful problem later in your pregnancy.
And please communicate with your providers. That relationship is built on trust & honesty going both ways. Stay fit & flexible and have a wonderful pregnancy and delivery.
Kelli Manring, PT, MSPT Physical Therapist, Doula, Pilates Instructor
That being said, I think it is true that it can be tempting to try to keep going at pre-pregnancy levels, and that can lead to overdoing it. I found that my stamina decreased considerably from about the middle of my first trimester to the middle of my second, and then gradually came back to almost normal, until the last couple of weeks, when my uterus has been getting in the way of my diaphragm (and I'm really feeling the effect of the extra 28 pounds). I had to keep reminding myself to modify my expectations of what I could actually do in a workout or a dance class, and to really gauge it day by day.
I didn't keep track of web sites about weightlifting, but after doing a bunch of research, my understanding is that abdominal work is fine as long as 1. you don't do it on your back after around 3-5 months (there is no consistency in the advice about exactly when you should stop) and 2. you don't have abdominal wall separation that you are aggravating, or uterine or pelvic ligaments that you are straining. You can see and feel abdominal wall separation if you lay on your back and contract your abdomen enough to lift up your head -- the middle of your abdomen will pooch out a little, and feel soft, instead of being flat as it should be. As far as ligaments go, you'll know it if you're overdoing it -- it hurts! I didn't do weightlifting per se, but I use all of these muscles constantly as a dancer, and I needed to keep them relatively strong to keep dancing. From my research and my experience, it seems safe to do the kinds of abdominal exercises that are gentle and can be made more intense by increasing reps, not amount of weight born. I haven't seen one bit of medical advice/research that suggests that it would endanger the fetus; the concern is about the increasingly stretchy and strained ligaments and muscles of the woman.
I have the same issue with my midwife -- she wanted me to stop dancing right at the beginning of my pregnancy, and she tends to blame my normal pregnancy complaints (for example, achey hips at night) on my dancing. I decided to explain that dancing was important to me, and I intended to keep going (with modifications) throughout my pregnancy. She probably doesn't really approve, but she let it go, and I feel better having her know than feeling like I'm sneaking around. It does mean I need to look elsewhere (written sources, friends) for support and advice, though, which is not always ideal.
Good luck with it, and I hope you have an energetic, physically active pregnancy! anonymous
After consulting with my doctor and my yoga teacher, I readjusted my routine. Now, at 7 months pregnant, I am hiking up and down big hills again - for about an hour a day, lifting 2-3 times per week, and doing yoga (with alterations to ensure the baby and/or my back is not injured). And I must confess - I feel a MILLION times better than with the lower level exercise routine. It's also helped me to feel in control of my body, at a time when it is most definitely not under my control, in terms of growth.
The most important things are: --- If it doesn't feel right, STOP! You're body actually knows quite a bit about itself. If you are hurting yourself or your unborn child, you will feel pain or some sort of warning. Pay attention - this is not the time to work through the pain.
--- Don't get your core temperature above 100 degrees. Easiest way to measure this is with a thermometer. When you're running a heartbeat of 160, are you sweating? If not, you're probably fine, but if you feel out of breath or dizzy - this is a warning sign.
--- Make adjustments that will ensure your safety and the baby's safety. For example - when lifting weights, as you get bigger, you may want to lower the weight amount you lift and do more repetitions --- or, as I have learned, when you do lunges, hold on to something with one hand, as your balance changes as your belly grows.
Other than that - it seems those of us who use exercise as a way to feel good, benefit from continuing exercise throughout the pregnancy. Good Luck
I am a Certified Group Fitness instructor with specialty certifications in prenatal, postnatal, and youth fitness. I just typed up a VERY long response and lost it, so this time I'll make it very short and suggest that you call me to discuss if you want more details. The short of it is that there are general recommendations out there that address safety issues for mom and baby (see the Dos and Don'ts under the Why Exercise button on my website: www.marieandron.com/prenatalfitness). Most to the recommendations have to do with protecting mom from injury and protecting mom from loosing balance, which protects mom and baby. Regarding intensity level, the general recommendation is to listen to your body, exercise at mild to moderate intensity levels, and to modify exercise based on maternal symptoms (if you're short of breath, slow down). The recommendations are vague, because the actual intensity level varies by person, based on pre-pregnancy fitness level and stage of pregnancy. The main concern that seems to be out there is ''overheating of the baby.'' Babies don't have the same cooling mechanisim that we do, since they cannot sweat. So, if our body temperature rises, we cool down through sweating, but baby cannot cool down in the same way. There are no conclusive studies (to my knowledge) that show what intensity (and what body temperatures) are safe. But, I would be happy to talk more about your particular situation, so feel free to email or call, if you'd like. My contact info is on my website. Marie
Previously sedentary women are advised not to begin cardiovasular exercise after 20 weeks for the smae reason.
Be aware that as your pregnancy continues, your perceived exertion for a particular activity will slowly rise, as your baby grows and demands more from your system. So, if you are very fit and can sustain 12 Mets for 30 minutes running on a treadmill while staying below your anaerobic threshold, you will gradually need to lower your exertion rate to stay within your cardiovascular workout zone. Use perceived exertion as your guide. Stay within a range where your workouts are ''somewhat difficult'', and you won't go wrong. Secondly, in the last months of pregnancy, as your ligaments loosen up, you may find that all impact activities become too stressful. A good cardio alternative are the eliptical machines. You can get a great cardio workout, remain weight bearing (!), and since it is nonimpact, stay safe. A lastly, an important and oftentimes overlooked aspect of exercise during pregnancy is to work on developing and maintaing core strength in every workout session. Strong limbs with a weak or unintergrated core is a recipe for pain and injury. If you have any specific concerns, feel free to drop me an email and I'd be happy to share with you more info on maintaing a high fitness level during pregnancy. Helene Byrne
1) Don't get overheated. You don't want to let your core body temperature get too high (it's bad for the baby), so drink lots of fluids and take it down a notch or two if you are really really hot.
2) Don't let yourself get out of breath. You want to make sure the baby always gets a good supply of oxygen so keep breathing!
3) In the third trimester (and perhaps earlier), your joints will relax due to a hormone (relaxin?). This is to loosen and open up your pelvis in preparation for childbirth. So, take it easy on your joints then. Do lower impact exercises and don't hyperextend any joints. Andi
I'm looking for prenatal excerise classes (light aerobics?) offered in the Berkeley area. I'm looking for ALTERNATIVES to yoga and YMCA classes. I checked the archives, but most responses were about YMCA, yoga or postpartum classes. Thank you.
Does any one know of any prenatal water exercise/aerobic classes that are not part of a gym or the Y? I'm hoping to find a place in Oakland, if possible. Elizabeth
hello. can anyone help me find a free or low cost pre-natal excersise class? in berkeley / oakland area? thanks! tracy
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