The fitter you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be to regain your shape after you’ve given birth. Prima Baby’s pre-and postnatal fitness expert Melinda Nicci offers some simple and effective advice for each stage of your pregnancy.
You can expect to gain between 2 and 4lb during your first trimester.
Melinda advises that this is the time to get your walking boots on! ‘Aim to do 30 to 40 minutes of brisk walking at least three times a week. If you feel up to it, walk at a brisk pace and make sure you pump those arms for extra oomph’!
You can expect to gain ½ lb to 1lb a week from now on.
Toning and strengthening muscles will help your body prepare for the birth. You could rejoin your favourite exercise class, or take up Yoga. Yoga will relax and energise you, as well as being great for your posture and breathing. ‘Make sure you tell the instructors that you’re pregnant to ensure all postures are safe and then they can modify exercises accordingly’, says Melinda. Also, avoid lying on your back at this stage as the weight of the baby can out pressure on your vena cava- the vein that takes your blood to your heart.
You are gaining weight fast now; you need an extra 200 calories a day.
Staying active at this stage can help with aching legs, varicose veins and puffy hands and feet. By strengthening your back, legs and arms you can build up your endurance levels in order for you to have the stamina to get through labour. Swimming or aquarobics are a great way to exercise in your third trimester. ‘Any classes that you undertake should include relaxation and pelvic floor exercises in preparation for birth’, Melinda tells us.
Whilst exercising during your pregnancy is great, make sure you follow our dos and don’ts of exercising safely during your pregnancy:
DO exercise at a moderate intensity.
DO stay cool and drink plenty of water
DO wear comfortable clothes and a sports bra to workout in
DO keep your blood sugar levels steady by eating two to three hours before exercising
DO report any unusual discomfort to your instructor/doctor
DO STOP IMMEDIATELY if you experience and pain, headaches, weakness, calf pain or swelling, dizziness or bleeding.
DON’T do any sudden or jerky moves
DON’T lift weights that are too heavy
DON’T take part in high-impact sports where you risk falling or losing your balance.
DON’T play contact sports, like netball or football.