Updated: Apr 7
#1 Exercising will hurt my baby
An old wives’ tale is that exercise can bounce the baby around and cause harm or damage development. Contrary to that belief, the baby is safely protected inside the womb. Women’s bodies were created with an extraordinary ability to care for and protect the baby while she carries him/her. When a pregnant woman exercises, blood flow is increased from mama to baby carrying extra nutrients and making the baby stronger. There are also several studies showing that a mother who has exercised consistently throughout pregnancy have shown to have babies with healthier weights than moms who did not.
#2 Exercising will make me exhausted
It would seem that the more you expend energy in exercise, the less energy you would have throughout the day. However, the opposite is actually true! The more you exercise your muscles the more energy you will have throughout the day. Getting regular exercise will also increase your feeling of well-being – which can be vital as there are a lot of changes happening in our bodies throughout pregnancy. Now, the key here is daily exercise. Every woman is different and there will be some days that you will be too tired to exercise or do your normal workout routine – and that’s ok! Take a day or two to relax and recover and then get back to it. And if you can, on those days that you’re not feeling up for a workout, do something easy like taking a walk just to get your body moving. Having a medium through which we can feel good about ourselves is a great way to find some balance in all the craziness.
#3 Exercising will only benefit my post-pregnancy weight loss
If exercise is conducted properly throughout pregnancy, all muscles groups will be improved to assist in the delivery of baby. Pelvic floor muscles are critical to delivery and can be strengthened through proper exercise. As pregnancy progresses from beginning to end, there is a large shift in center of gravity, as well as weight gain which can cause stress to the back and neck. Exercising these postural muscles along the back and sides of your body can help greatly reduce the aches and pains that you may start to experience on a daily basis. Probably, most practically, large muscle groups in both the legs and arms will assist in caring for baby once he/she is born. Lots of carrying, squatting, lifting, and bending over are added to our daily routines. The stronger these muscles are made during pregnancy, the easier this transition will be after baby is born.
#4 I don’t have to change anything about my regular routine
While it would be nice to not have to change anything during pregnancy and there’s something to be said for wanting to continue to be active, we need to take into consideration the changes that your body is going through. Your breasts are growing, your stomach is expanding, your cardio output is changing, your joints and ligaments are relaxing, and your pelvic floor muscles have a lot of strain on them. Everyone is different and there is no set of modifications that work across the board; but listen to your body as you workout through your pregnancy. Do research to see how you’re changing and find out the best ways to support your body through these transitions. Being active is definitely an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Be smart about your activity.
#5 My current coach/personal trainer knows how to help me modify
Just because a coach or trainer is certified doesn’t mean they know what and how to analyze and modify movements for pregnancy and postpartum. Coaching the pregnant and postpartum population requires a unique skill set that has to be learned outside of normal personal training courses. Both pregnancy and postpartum can present challenges that many trainers may have never dealt with before and you need to make sure you are doing what’s best for your body. Look for a personal trainer or coach that you can either work with exclusively during pregnancy and postpartum or can assist your current trainer with how best to progress your exercise during this chapter.