- Is it Safe to Participate in Your Exercise Program while Pregnant?
- What Questions Should I ask when Choosing an OBGYN?
- I’m currently pregnant and my doctor is telling me not to work my abs. What can I do?
- My doctor told me to keep my Heart Rate below 140. Is this accurate?
- My Doctor Cleared me at my Postpartum checkup. Can I Go Back to my Normal Workout Routine?
- I think I have Diastasis Recti. Is it safe to workout?
- I had a C-Section and don’t really know what to do to help in my recovery.
- What is Core Recovery and why should I do it?
- What Are Some Reasons for Seeing a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?
Before starting any exercise program, it is important for you to receive clearance from your doctor. We will go through an assessment before any Personal Training program to make sure I can train you to the best of my ability. All exercises are low-impact and specifically catered to the unique ways of how the body works while pregnant. The program I’ll conduct meets all ACOG guidelines, and includes:
- Proper deep core training to prevent pregnancy pains, prepare for pushing, and expedite recovery
- Postural and alignment work to prevent pains/injuries/falls
- Functional strength training to prevent pregnancy pains and prepare for the activities of motherhood
- Appropriate aerobic conditioning to reap health benefits and prepare for energy demands of labor
- Education on pain/injury prevention and proper recovery
Do you notice that pregnant people spend more time choosing their stroller than they do their OBGYN? I did! When pregnant, your midwife or doctor will shape how you think about your body, your baby, and determine much of your labor and delivery experiences. Let’s make sure who you are working with is the best fit for you!
- Understanding that every birth is unique, can you tell me what a typical delivery looks like in your practice?
- What can I be doing in pregnancy to prepare for labor and delivery?
- What percentage of your patients are induced, and what are the most common reasons for it? Why?
- What percentage of your patients have cesareans? Why?
- Can my partner stay with me continuously after the baby is born (without an additional fee)?
- We are now in a pandemic. What are you and the hospital doing to keep everyone protected during delivery?
Unfortunately, many doctors only think of working your abdominals by doing crunches. Your ‘core’ makes up so much more than just your abdominals. The core doesn't just refer to your abdominals. Your core includes all the muscles that attach to your pelvis, spine and ribs. A strong core helps to protect your body, as well as connects your arms and legs to your torso, ensuring your body can work well as a unit. There are so many different ways to work your core without ever doing a crunch. I’ll train you in a way that will keep your body safe, while maintaining strength to help prepare you for the demands placed on your body. You also want to maintain a neutral alignment to the best of your ability when pregnant, and work on your core will help keep you feeling supported.
Not necessarily. It’s important to note that heart-rate response to exercise varies throughout pregnancy, and from one individual to another. Blunted, exaggerated, and normal linear responses may all be seen at different stages during the same pregnancy. This means that heart rate is NOT an accurate way to monitor exercise intensity during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the guideline to “keep your heart rate below 140 beats per minute” is still one of the biggest prenatal exercise myths out there (and regrettably, we hear it most often from doctors). This is an outdated ACOG guideline from 1985 when almost no research existed about exercise during pregnancy. ACOG eliminated this guideline in 1994 after research revealed the issues with variable heart-rate responses to exercise and replaced it with the guideline to use Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) instead. This relies on women listening to their bodies and gauging their intensity by how they feel, which is a much more accurate method.
Remember, your postpartum visit is most often NOT a thorough examination. Therefore, many women may have some degree of Diastasis Recti or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. These will be things I will check for in your free assessment to make sure you are truly feeling ready. If something needs more attention, I’ll refer you out to a qualified women’s health (or pelvic floor) physical therapist.
It’s important to note that Diastasis Recti is actually a normal and natural part of pregnancy in order to allow adequate space for the baby to grow, especially during the third trimester. If managed appropriately, however, the DR will heal within a few months after delivery. However, if the DR is more severe, it can remain in the postpartum period and manifest into a “torpedo-like” protrusion in the belly. An easy rule to follow, and to keep in mind, is if you see any “coning” in your abdominals during an exercise, then it is a sign that the movement is NOT appropriate. During my exercise program, I will avoid any movements that will create aggravation.
For every Postpartum Assessment, I will check for DR (I can also guide you to do this yourself). For clients who have mild to moderate cases of DR (about 2 finger-widths or less, or mild to moderate depth), I will be able to work with you and take you through the Core Recovery program to help build your strength back up. For anything more severe, I will recommend you to a qualified Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist.
Your body goes through so much when getting a C-section, yet people don’t tell you what to do once you leave the hospital. Why? Click here for a great article, provided by PROnatal Fitness, to learn how to speed up your recovery process and what can help.
Core Recovery is an essential step in your recovery process after you’ve given birth. To be honest, you don’t need to have had a child to do this. It is important for everyone to reengage and activate their stabilizing core muscles that help to keep feeling strong and stable throughout your everyday life. The goals to accomplish from doing core recovery exercises are:
- Re-establish your Core Stabilizers
- Restore strength to traumatized tissues
- Build core capacity to assist in performing ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). Have you thought about how you will be picking up your baby or toddler from the ground?
How you work and play with your children in everyday life is the same as working out. So let’s get you prepared and protect your body from the physical demands of motherhood.
Below are 6 reasons to refer to a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist provided by Dr. Sneha Gazi.
- Pain: Upper or lower back, Hip pain, tailbone pain, SI Joint pain, Pelvic pain, vaginal pain, Rectal pain, abdominal pain, groin pain.
- Leaking Pee/Poo: Leaking urine or feces is NOT NORMAL and it indicates pelvic floor dysfunction. Get help as soon as you leak involuntarily for more than 2 weeks.
- Diastasis Recti: You may notice your stomach pouching, bulging or coning above, below, or around your belly button. You may experience back pain when you move.
- Intimacy Pain: Don’t suffer in silence or feel ashamed. Pain with intercourse, vaginal penetration, orgasm, or any form of intimacy can be treated.
- Pressure “Down There”: A feeling of pressure, dull pain, or a sensation of “bulging” around the vaginal opening can indicate a prolapse. A prolapse is when one or more organs descend downward.
- Constipation: Fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. Straining. Hard/lumpy stool consistency. Sensation of not fully evacuating. Sensation of feeling blocked. Having to manually remove stool.