How to Exercise Safely in Prenatal and Post Recovery

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One of the biggest misconceptions during pregnancy is to remain inactive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that pregnant women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. This may decrease your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and caesarean delivery.  Successful prenatal exercises help with preparing the pelvis for a smooth delivery, including relaxation techniques.

When it comes to exercising, what are some essential areas of our bodies should we focus on?

1. Pelvic Floor Strengthening: Exercises that prepares the pelvic floor muscles, which is essential for delivery

2. Core strengthening: Exercises that strengthens the core muscles, such as the abdominals are good for when it comes to labor. However, this should not be done lying on your back as the growing uterus can compress the vena cava, the major vessel that returns blood to your heart, potentially reducing blood flow and making you feel dizzy or nauseated.

3. Strong legs: Leg exercises can be vital because it can help prevent varicose veins and also help to minimize leg cramps during pregnancy. Also, when it comes to delivery having strong legs can support the pressure during active labor. Having strong legs are also crucial after delivery as moms will need all the strength to get around.

4. Strengthening the back: Having a strong back can support a better posture, which is essential for recovery. Also, breastfeeding and holding the baby can  and preparing for the early days of motherhood in supporting a growing baby

5. Arm strengthening: Holding your baby to feed her, lifting her onto the changing table a dozen times a day, and carrying endless baskets of laundry will be so much more comfortable if your muscles are ready for it.

6. Stretching the body: Pregnancy in all its glory can leave the body fatigued. By stretching the muscles and relaxing, it can help expectant moms feel less tense and can assist in better sleep

While exercise is recommended, expectant mothers should not exercise to lose weight or, engage in new exercises that is too strenuous for the bodies to handle. According to Jey from Belle Maternity, “expectant moms should only do exercise after 12 weeks.”

When embarking on an exercise routine make sure you:

1. Your healthcare provider is aware you are taking prenatal exercise

2. Eat enough calories to support the growing fetus

3. Skip dangerous sports

4. Wear appropriate clothing

5. Warm up

6. Keep hydrated

7. Don’t extend your physical abilities

8. Don’t exercise in high heat or humidity

9. Get up from the floor slowly

10. Make it a habit

At anytime you feel shortness of breath, stop immediately. 

Whilst exercise is important during pregnancy, this is not the right time to start a new routine. Once in a while fast walking or, slow cardio is ok. But avoid high intensity cardio training that could leave you out of breathe, which could spark lack of development in the fetus and could increase chances of miscarriage.

Exercising safely is not just for prenatal women

Belle Maternity is offering their first master workshop series that will help identify and teach about how to exercise safely, especially for postpartum women. Expert Celine Marais is a physio abdominal care consultant specialist, former rehab physio At TMC and counselor for BM program will guide you in post partum rehab from week 6 to one year post partum

Session 1: Sept 21st, 10.30 am 

For 5-6 weeks post partum

In this session get a personalized assessment / health physio check of your postpartum body. Our expert will check if you have diastasis recti, internal pressures and you overall posture in post partum.

You will learn :

Anatomy education : what’s pelvic floor / what’s deepest muscles of the abdomen

Practical:

First  exercises you can do to engage & protect your pelvic floor properly , connect with your body,  recognize  deepest muscles of the abdominal belt, start appropriate breathing technique

Session 2: Friday Sept 28, 10.30 am

From 6 weeks post partum to 6 months (1st year post partum )

Get deeper into the musculature work and learn how to start working out again, respecting the basis (learnt in session1). What are postpartum needs and contraindications ?

Session 3: Friday Oct 12, 10.30 am

Restore your pelvic floor with Pilates

Open to all

Practical session that applies what was taught in postnatal needs into practical advice for sports and exercises. Key areas include:

1) Mobility into the pelvis establishing balance and health in that area. Some very nice feel good exercises .

2) Strengthening ; How’s Pilates method can help you recover, faster

3) Gait : the ability to support and adjust : tone up and protect pelvic floor in your daily life and into your Pilates session.

Session 4: Workout alone  

Open to all

Date to be determined

Get the key points to be independent in your practice of any sport and physical exercises in postpartum. Review basics to more advanced exercises. Learn which sport to avoid, how long & which ones to prioritize . How to continue your practice outside of the physio world . Get back healthily to your sports reoutine!

Prices:

RMB350 per workshop or RMB1200 for all four workshops

Seats are limited – book yours to be in / booking is mandatory

WeChat: jeydancepilates to book your spot