Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reader's Request: Fitness & Pregnancy

Pregnancy - don't think anyone would argue that it is anything other than the most amazing thing. EVER. Think about it...growing a human inside your body and then bringing it into the world - WOW! If you are trying to conceive, are currently pregnant, or recently gave birth, we hope you find this little bit of insight helpful.

With exercising while trying to conceive, the jury's still out, kinda. There was a recent study that suggested regular moderate exercise is excellent for women trying to conceive, but that those who do higher intensity workouts/are really lean bodyfat-wise had a lesser chance of conceiving. On the flip-side, there are those from the mindset that whatever your body is accustomed to workout-wise is just fine to continue while trying to get preggers (Lindsay's OB included, for what it's worth).

During the first trimester, staying active is important. It will help alleviate some of the negative side-effects of pregnancy hormones you might be experiencing (nausea, fatigue, etc.). But no one says you have to keep up with your 6-day-a-week workouts seshs.....if you need to bump it down a notch, DO SO! You're growing a baby, for goodness sake! :)

Once you get into the second and third trimesters, you might have slowed down (especially if you were super active girl before getting pregnant), but don't stop completely! Remaining active isn't just good for you, it's good for that little critter in your belly too! Avoid high-risk/contact exercise, working out in extreme temperatures, and also avoid exercises that have you on your back (like Pilates), because when lying on your back, your expanding uterus presses against your spinal cord, which in turn limits blood flow.

In general, stop exercising and call your OB immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Uterine contractions
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina

Once you get through the greatest workout of your life (BIRTH!!), ease back into your fitness routine. Once you get the all-clear from the Doc, start slow - like going for a walk every day. Work your way up - don't get discouraged, if you were fit before, you'll get right back there, it just takes some time!!

Some things to keep in mind throughout the process:

  • The importance of nutrition, not only for you but for your little nugget!!
  • A lot will depend on your starting point: were you working out regularly before getting pregnant? 
  • Don't just zero-in on one type of fitness: have your cardio, but also do strength training and lots of stretching!
Let's Chat: What role do you think fitness has during pregnancy? Any first-hand experience to share??Post below!!

In Health,

Lindsay & Timothy

DISCLAIMER: Neither Timothy nor Lindsay are experts in pre-natal or post-natal exercise. This post is just based on the research we've done ourselves and information we've accumulated from consulting with professionals. Please consult with YOUR physician before engaging in an exercise program.


  1. Great post! I definitely think from experience that IF you are doing really high intensity workouts prior to getting pregnant that you should take it down a notch. But moderate exercise will make you feel great! Also, drinking over 100 ounces of water daily will help in MANY ways. To help with nausea eats LOTS of high protein foods! :-)

  2. Proper nutrition & exercise are great to keep weight gain appropriate too. Be it both times I had pre-eclampsia. The first time I swelled up like a blowfish around 25 weeks & in total gained 50lbs, which was hard to shed. I still held on to about 15-20lbs of it 3 years later when I got pregnant again. This time, with better eating & exercise (not having a desk job) I only gained 29lbs. Of that 29lbs - 25 of it is gone 12 weeks postpartum! Now to tackle what's leftover from the first!