Beauty Food Co-Founder and mum of one, with baby number two on the way, Libby Babet shares her wisdom with us this week, on all things pre and post natal health. Here she gives us her top training tips!
Libby’s Pre & Postnatal Training Tips:
Prenatal training recommendations have come a long way in recent years, in fact the amount of exercise suggested for pregnant women is exactly the same as that suggested for everyone else – either five hours per week of low to medium intensity exercise, or two-and-a-half hours of higher intensity exercise! BUT, if you weren’t this active prior to falling pregnant, it’s recommended you start small, even if that means 10 minutes of brisk walking per day and building up to the above very slowly.
Tips for Trimester 1 – baby's still safely nestled within your pelvis at this point and you can continue what you were doing before falling pregnant, but you just don’t want to get seriously out of breath or overheat too much, so take the pedal off the accelerator just a little bit. You also want to avoid deep or weighted rotation exercises.
Tips for Trimester 2 – crunches are OUT at this point and once you get about midway through your second trimester, lying on your back can mean reduced blood flow to you and the baby, so you don’t want to lie on your back to perform any exercises beyond this point, as you may feel dizzy and nauseous. Standing, seated or side lying exercises work best. Obviously, no hanging exercises like chin ups!
- Tips for Trimester 3 – your balance may be a little off, there’s a lot of the hormone relaxin circulating, which can make your joints a little less stable. You have belly size and other big physical changes (pelvic shifts and pelvic floor pressure) to consider at this point too, so it’s a good idea not to ‘bump the bump’ too much during the third trimester and to avoid exercises that can destabilise your pelvis, like deep lunges, big step ups, etc. Swimming, walking, prenatal pilates, light strength, toning work and light aerobics can all be good!
Postnatal Training Tips from Libby:
- It’s very hard to give ‘one size fits all’ advice for postnatal training, as every woman’s birth is different and every woman’s body is affected differently.
- Consider your return to exercise as “rehabilitation” rather than just “getting fit” as that’s what it is. Your body has changed and it’s a slow process to repair it correctly before you hit GO on intense or prolonged exercise!
- Wait for the bleeding to stop, you’ve been to your postnatal check up and your pelvic floor and abdominal separation has ideally been evaluated by a women’s health physio before getting started with most exercise.
- Things you can begin straight away are deep belly breathing, pelvic floor exercises and gentle walking – there are some great Apps and programs to get you started when you’re ready for more. I love @the.mummy.trainer or @soulsisterhealth to get started and @fluidformpilates and @peachespilates to get going!