Are you pregnant? Postpartum? Or even years postpartum and wonder (or have wondered) how to get back into a fitness routine? Have you ever searched the internet for pregnancy or postnatal exercises to do and got scared or completely confused?
Ladies, I can tell you that you are not alone. And better yet– I’m here to help you feel less confused about how to exercise during pregnancy and after baby.
The answer to all of those questions above? Work with a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist.
You might be asking yourself, what in the world is a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist? This type of specialist is someone in the healthcare and/or fitness industry that has specialized training, beyond their general education, in coaching and training the pregnant or postpartum woman. Often these professionals are personal trainers or healthcare providers like physical therapists, chiropractors, etc.
These specialists should know how changes in our body during and after pregnancy affect the way a woman exercises. They should also understand how to help a woman safely exercise without causing or worsening symptoms like bladder/bowel leakage, pain, pelvic heaviness/pressure, and diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation).
Working with a pregnancy-and-postpartum specialist is the secret sauce to exercising during and after pregnancy. Here are 5 things they can do for you….
#1 Offer guidance on what type of exercise you should be doing while pregnant or postpartum.
If you go on Google and search “exercises for pregnancy” or “exercises for postpartum,” it can be SO confusing. A pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist can show you safe exercises and which ones you should be doing.
#2 Help you prepare for birth and give you a head start on postpartum recovery.
Research has shown that women who exercise at a moderate intensity during their pregnancy have better outcomes during labor and delivery and can even improve postpartum healing. A specialist can help design an exercise program to help you gain strength, endurance, and safely move your body to prepare for childbirth and after.
#3 Eliminate fear.
There are many exercises you’ll read about NEVER doing during pregnancy and postpartum. Ever read that you should NEVER plank, crunch, sit up, twist, or lift heavy weights?? And even worse, that IF you do those exercises, you can make things like diastasis recti, prolapse, and pain worse?? Putting absolutes on the type of workout you cannot do during pregnancy and postpartum can cause fear of exercising for a lot of women.
A specialist in pregnancy-and-postpartum exercise can eliminate those fears for you. They can explain to you what your body is capable of doing and what exercises you CAN be doing.
#4 Create a program for you, so you don’t have to think so hard.
Let a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist do all the work for you! We love taking the guesswork out of fitness programming for women.
Many women have no idea where to start and aren’t sure what they should or shouldn’t be doing when it comes to exercising before or after pregnancy. That’s where a specialist can come in, assess your fitness goals, and give you a plan that works for you.
#5 Help you reach your fitness goals faster after baby.
Are your fitness goals to return to running? CrossFit? Group exercise classes? Yoga? Barre?
If you want to get back into a specific type of exercise, a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist can customize an exercise program specifically designed for your goals. They can also help you get back to those things that you love to do.
Are your goals for general strengthening and conditioning?
They can help you strengthen your body safely and effectively to eliminate or avoid common postpartum conditions like bladder/bowel leakage, prolapse, diastasis recti, etc.
You don’t have to navigate exercise during and after childbirth alone. As a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist, I am passionate about helping women achieve their health and fitness goals during and after pregnancy. You can find out more about the services I offer at Legacy Physical Therapy here.
We are proud to offer a variety of fitness options at Legacy Physical Therapy for moms and moms-to-be:
Moms Made Strong fitness class: a small group, 45-minute workout designed specifically for women that are pregnant, newly postpartum, or even years postpartum who want to strengthen, build confidence, prepare for childbirth, or recover after their baby.
- Classes are Monday/Thursday mornings 9:30-10:15am and Tuesday evening 6:30-7:15pm. Your first class is always FREE.
- Non-mobile babies can join you for class.
- One-on-one and small group personal training: for those looking for a more individualized approach to their health and fitness goals during and after pregnancy.
- Sessions are scheduled by appointment.
If you would like to find out more information, please call 636-225-3649 or email Jamie at [email protected]
Jamie Kocher is a St. Louis native, wife, mom of 2 (with another on the way!), and resides in West St. Louis County. She is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a pregnancy-and-postpartum fitness specialist at Legacy Physical Therapy. Jamie has more than a decade of experience in the health and fitness industries. She is passionate about helping women be fit and active during and after pregnancy. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys writing, traveling, HIIT style workouts, listening to podcasts, and relaxing at her family lake house.