Expecting a baby can be a time of uncertainty for some women. Many want to maintain good health and fitness but are afraid of causing harm to their unborn child.
The good news is that for most women it is completely safe to maintain fitness routines with minor alterations and considerations. Of course, always get your doctors okay before attempting to start any type of routine.
If you were active before pregnancy, generally very little needs to be changed early in pregnancy, however many women are quite fatigued during this time and may prefer walking or yoga in lieu of other activities. It is important to remember to alter your calorie needs during pregnancy and replace any calories burnt during exercise. Pregnancy is not a time to cut calories.
After 20 weeks gestation it is recommended not to do any type of exercise while lying flat on your back. Also, if you begin to start having any problems during your pregnancy it may be necessary to further alter or stop exercise. One example is the development of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Assuming that your doctor still Okays exercise during this time, it is important to be aware that weight training can elevate blood pressure while training. The best way to weight train during pregnancy is by shortening repetitions and adding sets with rests in between sets. This allows more “downtime” from lifting and allows your blood pressure to return to a normal range.
Another important aspect of a healthy pregnancy is the importance of adequate nutrition. Most pregnant women require about 300 additional calories per day, and should be adjusted as needed based on activity level.
It is also important to take daily prenatal vitamins that are high quality and natural. I also highly recommend a high quality, preferably organic DHA supplement for fetal brain development.
In addition, it is important to have a diet consisting of high quality, preferably organic foods during pregnancy. Balancing your food to include a variety of fresh fruit, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats have never been more important.