What We Do
You should aim for around 30 minutes of exercise each day where you can, even if it's just 30 minutes of walking
But it's so important that you don't exhaust yourself.
'As a rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise while pregnant, so if you can't do that, you're probably being too strenuous.'
There are plenty of options to keep you feeling healthy and active for as long as possible, but Monty advises that women should choose their sports very carefully: 'Minimise the potential for foetal damage by reducing the impact of the sport or exercise you're doing,' he advises.
'I'd always recommend avoiding contact sports like judo or hockey, especially after the 16-week mark, and avoid sports where you might be more likely to take a tumble, such as road cycling, skiing or horse-riding.
'Also, you should avoid any exercises where you need to lie flat on your back for prolonged periods, as the weight of the baby bump will press on the main blood vessel transporting blood back to your heart - which can make you feel faint.'
Explosive movements are generally not appropriate for preggos, just because they tend to be uncomfortable and could force women to hold their breath during the “loading” stage of the movement (more on that later). That said, I’ve been doing modified moves like mini squat jumps (where your feet are literally 1-2 inches off the floor) and rope jumping in my classes, and the girls do fine with those. This is something that’s completely dependent on each woman’s tolerance—luckily, it’s really easy to modify or swap out.
--Movements involving getting up/down quickly
Think burpees. The bigger the belly gets, the more awkward these movements feel, and the more exhausting/frustrating they are for mom. If you want to include something like this for functional exercise purposes, I’d recommend surrenders, and I’d slow them waaay down.
Pregnant women are full of hormones that help ligaments relax and stretch in preparation for birth—but they might not realize it. This is why it’s easy to overstretch when you’re pregnant, potentially causing injury. Remind pregnant clients to stretch just to the point of resistance—and none of that “take a deep breath and see if you can go even further” stuff.
–Supine exercises (on the back)
Here’s an example of something that tends to get exaggerated in prenatal fitness. We know pregnant women should obviously not lay on their stomachs (ta-ta for now, supermans), but what about supine moves? A lot of pregnant women hear that lying on their back restricts blood flow through the inferior vena cava, which means compromised blood flow to baby (um—no good!), but this isn’t quite the red alert situation some women are led to believe.
In reality, only a small percentage of women actually experience this, and they would know. The first sign is dizziness (which happens long before the baby is impacted in any way)—so, by all means, if your client is feeling dizzy laying on her back, supine is out!
For most women, though, a few minutes of lying on their back is totally harmless. Chances are you’re not leaving her there for long, anyway.