Pregnant clients may not be up to training for their first triathlon, but they don’t have to skip their workouts altogether.

In fact, consistent exercise will help clients as they prepare for childbirth and, later, as they return to prepregnancy activity levels. Benefits of regular exercise during and after pregnancy include the following (Garshasbi & Faghih Zadeh 2005; Mayo Clinic 2004):

  •     Reduced incidence of back pain
  •     Boosted energy
  •     Fewer problems with constipation
  •     Increased muscle strength and a superior cardiovascular condition, which can facilitate labor and delivery
  •     Improved endurance, to prepare for the possibility of a longer labor
  •     Improved mood states
  •     Reduced postpartum recovery time

Designing an Appropriate Program

Dealing with many Pre/Postnatal client’s hormonal, metabolic, respiratory, cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal. In a Pre/Postnatal environment. Getting my client’s exercise plan approved by her physician before getting started and then maintaining an open dialogue with the physician throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period is essential for effective guidance and good practice.

Any fitness professional who works with Pre/Postnatal women should be familiar with the guidelines developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG 1994b). Of course, there are always exceptions to guidelines; Your doctor will let you know if any exceptions apply to you.

Research suggests that during pregnancy, women can continue to derive health benefits from regular exercise (at least three times per week). No data indicate that limiting intensity or lowering target heart rates is necessary to avoid potential adverse effects. With a doctor’s approval, some exercises may be continued at intensities similar to those maintained prior to pregnancy.