Can I work out and when can I do so?

Pregnancy is life-changing for every woman, and to stay in a good physical form, you can try different workouts even now. If you have decided to start working out immediately after giving birth, then you should definitely consult a specialist. I have asked for some advice from a personal trainer and nutritionist Janika Koch-Mäe  (www.sinutreener.ee) and here are the four most frequently asked questions I get.

Q: Can I work out during pregnancy? How much and what kind of exercises should I do?

During pregnancy you can most certainly work out unless the doctor has stated otherwise. If you have been active before pregnancy and have been working out regularly, then you can continue doing so but keep the workouts lighter. This means, it would not be wise to add weights or increase intensity, but maintain the form you have reached.
If the soon-to-be mom has not been working out regularly prior to pregnancy, then it is not wise to start with intense workouts or to pick up a new sport. Working out during pregnancy should not include jumping around, sudden movements or fast exercises for the core. Additionally it’s not recommended to keep the pulse over 140-150 beats per minute for a long time.

Q: Who to consult with if you wish to work out during pregnancy or after giving birth?

I would advise to check this with your doctor or with your maternity nurse, and with your personal trainer.

Q: How much and what kind of workouts can I do after giving birth?

If there have been no complications during giving birth, then you can start working out after around 1 month, vaginal muscles can be exercised immediately after giving birth. It is also a very good exercise to take your baby out for a walk.
In regards to caesarean, you will need to wait at least 2 months. I would strongly recommend to consult with a doctor beforehand, as every person is different.

Q: Will working out lessen the amount of milk I produce? Or can it be a cause of no milk-production?

Working out should not influence the production of breast milk. It is important to ensure that you get enough energy from nutritional food and to keep your meal times regular.

Separately, Janika would like to stress on something specific: ‘Before you start training your stomach muscles on your own, I would advise to consult a personal trainer. Depending on the pregnancy, you can have diastasis recti (abs separation) and in this case it is not a good idea to do regular stomach exercises as these will only make this worse.’

Wishing you a sporty week,

Kadi

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