While having a personal trainer used to be considered a luxury reserved for celebrities and athletes, more people from the general population are learning the value of using a professional to make the best of exercise in their lives. The pre- and postnatal periods are times in a woman’s life that are marked by significant change and what had been working before pregnancy or kids may not be the best approach anymore. Hiring a personal trainer during this time can help to keep you stronger and more active as you navigate the journey through motherhood. The benefits of exercise to mom and baby are well-documented and, fortunately, becoming common knowledge. It is no longer seen as a wise decision to cease exercise, provided there are no major health issues and mom is feeling good. Even though exercise is considered an excellent habit for mom to adopt or continue, the demands of pregnancy and postpartum recovery place on a woman’s body are significant, making smart and strategic choices regarding exercise essential during this time.
Contrary to what many people believe, an understanding of pregnancy and recovery is not considered required knowledge for personal trainers. In most certifications, the process of pregnancy is rarely mentioned, if at all. Most certifications will include a paragraph or two on pre- and postnatal training, meaning that most personal trainers are not qualified to work with women during this time. To address this need, certifications on pre- and postnatal training have been created but many are outdated and/or lacking information. Even the most comprehensive certification will likely not be enough to fully address the needs of this population, and so a personal trainer must embark on continued education as the research evolves.
Working with a person who specializes in pre- and postnatal exercise allows you to have the confidence that your exercise routine will be appropriate for your baby, and your changing body.
1. Working with a Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist Allows You To Adapt Your Workouts to Your Stage of Pregnancy/Postpartum
A woman’s body goes through an incredible amount of change that begins the moment she conceivesand continues well-beyond the “6-week checkup” postpartum. As a result, her exercise routine throughout the trimesters and into her recovery will need to reflect this change. Pre/Postnatal specialists can effectively guide you from conception (and before!) to postpartum (and beyond!) with varying workouts that address your body’s needs as those needs shift.
2. A Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist Can Help You Make Safe and Smart Choices
Many women originally seek out the assistance of an exercise professional during their pregnancy because they are concerned about the impact of their exercise on their unborn baby’s well-being. While this concern is obviously at the forefront of any mama-to-be’s mind, babies are so well-protected in utero that that are very few exercises that pose a concern to the fetus. The greater concern is the impact of poor exercise choices and execution on the mother’s body, a concern that has largely been ignored by the majority of the fitness industry. Hormonal and biomechanical changes that occur in a mother’s body can increase the likelihood of pain and dysfunction (such as diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, etc) which can be exacerbated through exercise. A qualified pre/postnatal trainer not only knows how to modify exercise selection to mitigate the possibility of dysfunction, but they also know how to change the strategy (the way one performs an exercise) to help your body perform at its best.
Your Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist will also refer you to qualified medical professionals, should the need arise. Having a cohesive team of practitioners dedicated to keeping you in the best health during these chapters is just one more benefit of working with a trainer during this time!
3. Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialists Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals (even if you’re dealing with common pregnancy or post-birth dysfunctions!)
If you are already managing dysfunction or pain, a pre/postnatal trainer can help you figure out how to stay active in spite of your condition! Just because you have pelvic organ prolapse, or diastasis recti, or pubic symphysis pain does not mean that you can’t partake in engaging and challenging exercise! It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it. Many women find that, when working with a qualified professional, they’re actually able to do more challenging and more rewarding exercise than they thought possible.
4. Working With a Pre/Postnatal Specialist Keeps You Strong and Active for Labor/Delivery and Motherhood
Trainers who specialize in working with moms know how athletic being a mom (and the process of becoming one!) can be. They can design workout programs that not only address your fitness goals, but that address your daily activities, as well — from getting baby out of the crib, to picking up the carseat (and groceries and the dog and the diaper bag…!), to carrying the 3-year-old who refuses to walk, to running after your older kiddos — motherhood is hard work! In addition, pre/postnatal trainers will discuss ways that you can prepare your body for the demands of labor and delivery! Working with a pre/postnatal specialist will pay off in and out of the gym!
If you’re ready to find out what it’s like to work with a Pre/Postnatal Exercise Specialist, we’d love to help! We know you’ll feel stronger, more confident, and we’ll make sure you have a blast accomplishing your goals! Fill out our contact form to schedule your assessment session today!