Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it not recommended to lIe on my back after the 1st Trimester?
By lying on your back after the 1st Trimester it can put pressure on the Inferior Vena Cava (vein that carries blood to your heart), this can decrease blood flow to the baby as well as precipitate premature labor. So instead of lying in the supine position (flat on your back) you can use pillows to give yourself a slight incline.
I am having a lot of water retention, what can I do?
To help reduce water retention you can perform ankle circles throughout the day, prop your feet up on a stool or chair, try to avoid ingesting large quantities of sodium and be sure you are drinking LOTS of water! You may be tempted to drink less thinking you are retaining but you will have the opposite effect. DRINK!
can I lift weights while I'm pregnant?
YES! Studies show that pregnant women who perform weight-bearing exercise at 50 percent or more of their pre-pregnancy levels tend to gain less weight, deposit and retain less fat, feel better about their bodies, have shorter, less complicated labors and recover more rapidly than women who either stop exercise or don't exercise at all.
how should i track my heart rate?
The ACSM recommends using "rate of perceived exertion" rather than heart rate because the heart rate response changes throughout gestation. Since there is less blood volume going through your circulatory system with each beat of your heart, your heart rate speeds up to compensate. By comparing your non-pregnant heart rate throughout pregnancy you will most likely be underworking or overworking. So listen to your body! Don't exert yourself to a point where you feel exhausted or overheated.
What is DIAPHRAGMATIC breathing and why is it important?
It is very important to use diaphragmatic breathing while exercising during pregnancy because by using your diaphragm to breathe you are able to more efficiently empty your lungs. When you don't do this, air can get trapped in your lungs and may restrict the amount of oxygen that is being transported to your baby. To practice diaphragmatic breathing place one hand over your stomach and the other over your chest. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible. Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale all the while your hand on your chest should remain very still. This is allowing oxygen to fill your lunges at a higher capacity which in turn delivers more oxygen to your baby!
Should I consume three large meals a day?
I would recommend 5 - 6 smaller meals throughout the day to avoid peaks and valleys of hunger and sustain a steady energy level. This also keeps your metabolism working for you throughout the entire day. Check out more information on nutrition here.
is exercise safe for my baby?
YES! Studies show that continuing or starting exercise during the second month of pregnancy reduces birth weight and newborn fat mass and also shows that the placenta increases in size which ultimately improves its functional capacity in late pregnancy.
when can I begin exercising again after i have my baby?
First, you need to get clearance from your doctor or midwife. Second, make sure you are not experiencing heavy bleeding, pain and breast infections or abscess. Typically you can return to working out within 6 weeks. It may be a little longer recovery for those that have a c-section.
What is the best time of the day to workout?
Any time is a good time! I have never been one to say one time of the day is better than another. However, I personally have seen greater success when working out in the morning. I always feel more energetic after a workout which gives a great boost for the day. The endorphin's released will be at your advantage throughout the day helping you to stay positive and productive. And bonus you will also tend to make better decisions when it comes to your diet. BUT you do it whenever you can! During nap times, after kids go down for bed, or when you get off work. JUST GET ER DONE!
What are some reasons why a doctor may NOT clear me for working out?
Incompetent cervix, pregnant with multiples at risk for premature labor, persistent second or third trimester bleeding, placenta previa after twenty-six weeks, history of premature labor, ruptured membranes. If you have or have had any of these conditions while pregnant please talk to your doctor before participating in exercise routines.