The How To’s of a Fit Baby Bump


by For Two Fitness June 18, 2014

 Iulia and Diana

We love this fit mom guest post from Diana from hiitmom.net/. Read her “How To’s of a Fit  Baby Bump.” 

Pregnancy is the perfect time to commit to you and your unborn baby’s health, and working out on a regular basis should be a really important part of your pregnancy. If you’re wondering — no, I am not pregnant with my 2nd. At least, not yet. :) The first time when I was pregnant I almost miscarried, so in order to keep the baby, I had to stay in bed 24/7 for almost 2 months. Once I entered the second trimester, my ob/gyn doctor said I was OK to get active again. I remember clearly how surprised he was when my second question (the one after is my baby safely fixed, of course) was, “Can I work out?.” During all that time spent laying in bed all day, I really missed my training.

The next day I started going to a gym, and officially dropped all the pre-pregnancy training – I wasn’t allowed to jump or cycle. At the beginning, working out in a gym was really hard, as I didn’t know what to do, or what my training should be. The trainers said because I had had an almost miscarriage, they wouldn’t feel comfortable to coach me. In their opinion I wasn’t supposed to be working out at all. To me, that sounded like the most outrageous thing ever. How could I not work out when my entire body was longing for a really good sweat, and my muscles were like save us, don’t forget about us!

I felt so unwitting, so disappointed I couldn’t remember the exercises I used to do in the group classes of BOSU, Step Aerobics, Tae Bo; – I only found HIIT after having my daughter. Therefore I decided to train each and every part of my legs and arms, and alternate brisk walk with just walking on the treadmill.

For the second pregnancy I’d love to be better prepared. I want to know exactly want I can do, how and what is safe for the baby and what intensity should my workouts have. I don’t plan to pack again 13 kg (28.6 pounds) like last time, but I am hoping for a safe and active pregnancy.

As I love HIIT, the first thing that crossed my mind was – Can I do HIIT while pregnant? Then I remembered I read a blog post of a CrossFit mom, who was still working out and doing CrossFit at 30 weeks pregnant. So I thought to myself – How cool is that!? I can work out too using HIIT! Then I also read about moms who run their first 5K or even 10K while being pregnant – they really are my inspiration for the months to follow!

Let’s see what the theory is – it’s always best to do your homework before becoming pregnant, and researching about fitness while pregnant should be on the list. So let’s see what my doctor and my physiotherapist said about working out during the most amazing three trimesters of your life.

First trimester
I want to begin running and do a 5K cross in fall. I was thinking that this could be a great training for the beginning of the pregnancy, when it’s not OK to push yourself too much. In the first trimester, there are some things you need to consider when working out: but always check with your doctor to see if it’s safe to workout. Talk about your fitness routines — even show them the printable or videos of the workouts you are used to do — whatever gives them a better image of what’s your fitness level and what you’d like to work out while pregnant as you’re exercising for two. It’s really important to warm up before the workout and keep your heart rate around 140 bpm, because the blood volume increases and the heart needs to pump more blood than usual. But if you’re really fit, you should just pay attention to your breathing.  If you can’t talk anymore while doing the exercises, that means the workout is too intense AND don’t get over-heated, because if your body temperature rises above 38.5 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than 10 minutes your baby might be at risk. During this 1st trimester, the baby’s major organs are in development so it’s not the time to over-do your workout. make sure you rest between sets or even exercises, let the heart beat come to a normal value drink lots of water — don’t worry about visiting the loo too often! Don’t push yourself during this period, as you are already more tired than usual cool down and relax.

Both my doctors recommended to do low to medium intensity workouts, which I have to tell you really cut down my enthusiasm. I was hoping to be able to do HIIT with some adjustments. But I think overall, the target is to maintain the fitness lever of your body, not to increase the intensity in order to prevent gaining weight.

Therefore, my plan changed from HIIT with adjustments to low-impact workouts, weight training, running and core workouts to prep the abs for the hard work of delivery. Maybe you’re puzzled about the core workouts – I have to tell you my docs said it’s the only trimester when you can do sit-ups, as it’s still all right to lay on your back.

For the low-impact workouts, core and weight training I will choose from Fitness Blender’s workouts. To find the right ones, you can easily filter them by using the Search Workouts button. I’ve chose difficulty 1-3, body focus core, total body and lower body, and the training type: low impact, strength training, cardiovascular and toning. And that’s it! You’ve got plenty of free workouts to do during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy!

Aside from running and the free workouts provided by Fitness Blender, I’m also planning on ordering Zelana Montminy’s Healthy Fit Happy Mom Complete 3 DVD set.

Second trimester
I am going to start with this: the number #1 rule to follow during the second and third trimester is no lying on the back while working out. As the uterus is constantly growing, starting from the 2nd trimester it became large enough to cut off the blood supply to the baby. Please consider alternate core exercises to sit-ups, like planks and standing abs workouts.

During this 2nd trimester, I am going to do intense intervals, but I will monitor my body really close and not exceed the safe limits. Of course, as the pregnancy progresses, intensity is going to change from what you were used to. Just do what you feel good while exercising. My physician recommended me to perform full body weight routines with moderate weights at least three days a week and do weight training one or two days a week.

Third trimester
During the 3rd trimester, your growing belly will be in your way most of the time, including while working out. It’s the time when you can’t wait to give birth not only to finally meet your baby, to hold her and snuggle her, but also to get rid of that huge baby bump that keeps you from moving. When visiting the doctor, ask him if it’s still safe to exercise. It wouldn’t hurt to tell him your fitness program, so he can give you a better answer to your question.
Planks, push-ups and mountain climbers should be done against a wall or bench in order to minimize the risk of abdominal separation. For strength training exercises, choose weights that are about 50 – 60 percent of your usual maximum.

I think I’m going to take again the labor respiration course – I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to give birth naturally and without an epidural anesthesia. It really cuts the labor pain to half, but requires maximum concentration.

If you are planning a pregnancy, I highly recommend you to get in the best shape of your life before conceiving, and adjust your diet to fuel your body correctly – pregnancy cravings will stay far away from you, plus you want to be healthy for you and your baby. It has been proved that the baby takes what he needs from the mom, even if the mom herself needs that. So make sure your diet is the proper one, because if not, the pregnancy will be in the detriment of the mother.

If you’re already pregnant, keep training in the above mentioned way and try to be active every day if you can and feel OK.

 




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