I am pleased to introduce you to Lindsay Brin, founder of Moms Into Fitness® - a company created to provide moms with "quick and efficient workouts to prepare, maintain and strengthen their bodies during (and after) pregnancy."
The Moms Into Fitness® website offers a variety of workout videos by trimester, a maternity activewear clothing line, a small selection of free recipes, an FAQ section about exercise during pregnancy, and a list of links to fitness/nutrition websites that are relevant to moms.
Please welcome Lindsay to Metropolitan Mama today.
ME: What exercises/sports are "taboo" during pregnancy?
LINDSAY: If a woman is having a normal, healthy, singleton pregnancy she should be able to exercise most days of the week. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends not lying in supine position (on your back) after the first trimester. Other than that, most prenatal exercise programs are okay and not "taboo."
A mom-to-be should test for diastasis recti, a common condition in the 3rd trimester, and modify the workout accordingly. It is the partial or complete separation of the abdominal muscles. No twisting and/or core exercises should be performed when diastasis recti is present.
Pregnant women want to stay away from sports like hockey, soccer, gymnastics, horseback riding, skiing, scuba diving, racket sports, baseball and basketball. These sports are dangerous because of possible contact trauma, balance loss or elevation.
***For twin pregnancies special permission should be obtained by the doctor, but it should be ok to exercise up to 28 weeks. ALL pregnant women should get permission from their doctor to rule out any reasons not to exercise.
ME: What are the best exercises/sports during pregnancy?
LINDSAY: The BEST exercise to do while pregnant is a program developed for a growing front side. Mom's muscles, ligaments, blood volume, and center of gravity change - and the workout should change as well. Look into cardio, toning, swimming, and prenatal yoga classes and/or DVDs. Swimming and walking are wonderful as well!
It is best to moderately challenge your body. If you've never exercised before walking could be your moderate challenge. The American Council on Exercise recommends staying between a 5 & 8 on a RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale of 10. This basically means you can talk while exercising, but not necessarily sing a show tune.
I personally enjoy taking dance classes and teaching cardio/toning and stroller classes for my exercise when I am pregnant. Find something that works for you, but that is also SAFE for you and your baby.
ME: How soon can a mom resume exercise after giving birth?
LINDSAY: I lead a research study at SIU-E on this exact subject. We wanted to see how quickly mom could resume exercise after giving birth and how well it lifted her mood. All of our moms had vaginal, healthy births and returned to exercise 2 weeks postpartum. They were very tired, so you must consider how much sleep you are getting before adding exercise to your schedule. You must be very cautious at this stage in the game as your body is still trying to resume some normalcy. Our moms started with walking and light, light toning exercises using their babies as added weight.
Listen to your doctor - most doctors will release you to exercise 6-12 weeks postpartum. You know your body better than anybody...so take it easy and progress slowly. You were pregnant for 9 months!!!
***Most exercise DVDs and classes are designed for a mom that is 8-12 weeks post-baby.
ME: How quickly can a mom expect to get back to her "pre-baby" body/weight?
LINDSAY: Believe it or not, there are moms that are more fit after having a baby than before! Yes, it's true. Your body works so hard during pregnancy that it benefits postpartum. I always tell moms you were pregnant for 9 months so you must give yourself 9 months to get your pre-baby body back. Set a goal for yourself: 9 months if you gained the recommended amount of weight and 9-15 months if you gained more than the recommended amount. After birth, your uterus (which is a muscle) returns to normal size within a few months. Slowly everything will fall back into place and what you are left with is loose muscles. So kick up your core routine a notch! And if you notice you are still carrying extra pounds, try some interval training.
If you do have the diastasis recti I mentioned above, which usually goes away after baby is born, try this ab workout to slowly resume your core routine. You can read more about diastasis recti in my newsletter.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us, Lindsay!
WIN IT! There will be two winners. One mama will win Lindsay Brin's Postnatal Boot Camp and one mama will win Lindsay Brin's Boot Camp 2. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post prior to Tuesday, Mar. 18, at midnight (don't forget to follow the rules). The winner will be announced and contacted on Wednesday, Mar. 19. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATE * The winners are #32 sweepsblogger and #67 Kari. Congratulations!