I’m excited to collaborate with PinkBlush Maternity to bring you this post. I found PinkBlush on Instagram. A few dresses, a couple robes, and an athletic top later…I can tell you I really love their line. It is stylish, affordable, flattering…perfect!
I’m giving away a $75 gift card via Instagram – you can head on over to enter! They have a maternity line + a regular line, so enter either way 🙂 Just a bit of a background for new readers: I’m a National Strength and Conditioning- Certified Personal Trainer with an additional certification in perinatal fitness (training women before, during, and after baby) from Healthy Moms. I gathered much of the information from the post from the Healthy Moms Perinatal Fitness Instructor Training and Specialty Certificate Binder by Sheila Watkins. Today, Pinkblush + I wanted to partner to bring you a post about why exercise is important during the physically demanding event that is pregnancy + childbirth. As an almost 34 week pregnant person, I’m still maintaining my workout regimen + seeing and feeling the positive benefits. I’ve had a comfortable pregnancy so far! One thing I want all women, including pregnant women, to have is CONFIDENCE! You are growing a human, that is such a beautiful thing + a blessing. Of course that comes with weight gain + and an expanding belly, but I’ve found that by working out, eating healthy, + wearing clothes that you feel yourself in…you can maintain confidence throughout. 🙂 I know the baby needs the weight that I’m gaining + the growing belly means that I’m getting closer to meeting our first little love. A common misconception is that women who are inactive before they were pregnant cannot start an exercise program. It is most important to talk to your OB about this, but most would suggest that you do start! There are a lot of perinatal yoga + strength classes available for all levels, plus a lot of knowledgeable personal trainers that will make the proper accommodations for a new pregnant exerciser. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant + you currently don’t exercise…I would say START NOW! Pregnancy will likely go smoother for you.
Benefits to Maternal Exercise
- Maintaining or increasing cardiovascular fitness: You can increase your body’s endurance + stamina, and increase your energy levels. These are huge benefits for pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
- Increase muscular endurance: I like to think of labor and delivery as an athletic event. You are going to need a lot of stamina and use the correct muscles with the correct force. The right pregnancy routine can help with this!
- Increasing muscular strength: Strength training during pregnancy yields lots of benefits! Including decreasing your risk of ligament and joint injury (loosening effects of relaxing and progesterone are at work against us), preparing you for the tasks of being a mom (think: picking baby up, car seats, diaper bags, shopping bags, etc!), and it helps to take strain off of your lower back + pelvic floor (important for you to minimize postural issues + remain as comfortable as possible). I can tell you from helping with my niece, those little babes get heavy fast + you have a lot to take with you when you’re leaving the house! Strength training will definitely help with this transition.
- Improved posture: Not only will improved posture help you to look better, but also it lessens the chance that you’ll have common neck and back pregnancy pains. It also helps to make breathing easier – you’ll realize the importance of this during the 3rd trimester. I’ve happy to report no back pain so far!
- Improved support of pelvic organs: Yes, we’re going there. Exercise helps to improve the strength of your pelvic floor, which can help you to minimize or prevent urinary incontinence and bladder 0r uterine prolapse (eeks!). I’m going to do another blog soon about the importance of seeing a women’s health physical therapist to aid in these issues that nobody talks about. 😉
- Decrease pregnancy discomforts: Exercise helps to keep the minor discomforts of pregnancy at bay. It has been proven to help decrease the occurrence of varicose veins, back pain, leg cramps, swelling, and constipation.
- Improved body composition: Continuing exercise during pregnancy has been shown to significantly reduce weight gain, fat deposition, and fat retention. On average, pregnant exercisers gain 7 pounds less and have decreased fat deposition compared to their non-exercising counterparts.
- Shorter + less complicated labors with less intervention: This includes needing less pain relief, reduction in the need for labor induction, and less need for interventions such as forceps or episiotomies. Time in active labor has also been studied and shown to be decreased by a third for exercisers.
- More energy during pregnancy + faster recovery following delivery: Yes, please!
- Return to pre-pregnancy weight sooner: After baby, people that maintain an exercise routine return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner than non-exercisers.
If that didn’t convince you to workout during pregnancy, I don’t know what will. SO many awesome benefits. Of course there are situations and pregnancies that do not allow for working out, but if you are able…it can make a huge difference for you! I’ll share details about my personal prenatal workout routine soon! So check back for that. Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! -Ames All photos were taken by the sweet + talented Clare Mullins Photography. Thank you for the beautiful photos! Xo.