An active pregnancy has many benefits to both mother and baby. Not only will moving your body help you prevent against pregnancy related illnesses such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia but it can also help boost your mood, energy levels and self esteem.
With the support of your doctor or midwife, 150 minutes of moderate activity is recommended per week. The right activity for you will depend on your experience, fitness levels prior to pregnancy and most importantly what feels good for you!
There are of course some considerations to be mindful of during pregnancy and post partum.
- Avoid over exhaustion. You should be able to maintain a conversation during your workout.
- Stay hydrated. You will need to drink a little more water during pregnancy to help with circulation and the increase of blood volume. Staying hydrated will also help regulate your body temperature!
- Stay cool. Avoid overheating by wearing loose, comfortable clothing and taking plenty of small sips of water not only during your workout but also throughout the day.
- Implement plenty of rest. Allow your body enough time to recover in-between sets/intervals and space your workouts out throughout the week.
- Fuel up. Pregnancy will require some additional calories, not much but you'll be needing approximately 200 more calories per day. Look for lean protein sources such as chicken and fish, slow release carbohydrates such as oats and rice and healthy fats that can be found in fish and nuts.
Pregnancy is not the time to be heading towards big fitness goals, your body is already working hard creating a new life.
We had a chat with Lauren Allen (@laurenallenfitness on Instagram) about how she benefitted from keeping active during her pregnancy, her experience with maternity clothing and more.
What did keeping active mean to you?
Staying active during my pregnancy allowed me to maintain mobility and strength while helping my posture and reducing common pregnancy related complaints. Moving my body also allowed me to stay connected with it and more mindful of movement. Keeping strong and active also helped with stamina during labour and my post partum recovery.
In my first trimester sickness struck which meant activity was kept minimum and relaxed with walks to grab some fresh air and boost my mood. As I entered into the 2nd and 3rd trimester I was able to strength train 2/3 times a week. Strength training, if approved by doctor and completed prior to pregnancy, is a great way to help protect your bones and muscles strong and healthy. An influx of hormones can increase joint flexibility so its incredibly important to ensure your form is spot on and you are increasing your rest times.
What is important to you for an active maternity collection?
Comfort is key when shopping for an active maternity range. Fabrics that adjust to a growing bump as well as keep the body cool when exercising is important to avoid overheating and to ensure we maintain good circulation.
What has motherhood/pregnancy taught you about strength?
Pregnancy and motherhood have taught me that strength isn’t always measured in how much weight you can lift or how many repetitions you can do. It’s very much mental as it is physical, motherhood will throw many obstacles at you and challenge you in so many ways that you’ll discover a brand new strength and maybe even a strength you may have never initially believed you had.
What are your favourite pieces in the collection?
The influential leggings are soft and incredibly comfortable with a waistband that stays up without restrictions. They are also ideal for the post partum period was your stomach slowly reduces its size and still needs gentle support.
The modernize vest is also made from soft material that can be ordered throughout your pregnancy to keep bump comfortable. The racer back is also an added flattering feature.