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Staying fit during and after pregnancy is an important part of this whole “birth”. Regular exercise during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, as well as the chance that you will need a cesarean section, while relieving some of the more uncomfortable aspects of a small person’s growth like back pain and constipation.

In most cases, gentle exercises like walking and swimming are safe for pretty much everyone during pregnancy, including those who have not been active before. It is also generally considered safe that people will continue with the exercise program they did before pregnancy as long as they are comfortable with it and do not exceed a moderate intensity.

However, certain sports, such as weight training, need to be adapted to the ever-changing constraints of pregnancy, but this can be confusing. One way to help you plan a safe and effective pre and postpartum routine is to find a personal trainer who is trained to work with pregnant clients.

If you are considering going down this route, here are some guidelines for finding and choosing a trainer.

Get your doctor’s approval first

First and foremost, you must talk to your doctor about any exercise program you might want to do while pregnant. Some medical conditions, such as certain types of heart and lung problems, and pregnancy with twins or triplets with risk factors for preterm labor, mean some exercises are not safe.

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For the majority of patients, many exercise routines are considered safe, although your doctor may have some specific recommendations and / or restrictions based on your own medical history. And if you have certain limitations, you will need to discuss them with your fitness trainer to make sure they have the skills and knowledge to work with your situation.

Some exercise programs are designed to prepare you for childbirth and early parenting

A number of prenatal and postpartum fitness programs are based on the concept of preparing your body for the stresses of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.

One of the programs called Birth fit, works on the concept of “pre-sampling” a pregnant client with the intention of empowering her so that she is better prepared for the birth. BirthFit’s postpartum fitness program, on the other hand, focuses on helping you cope with the physical rigors of parenting after childbirth.

Another program, called PROnatal, busy what they call Interval training with work intensitydesigned to mimic the cycles of active work, with a short period of intense work followed by a short break of active rest, including breathing exercises.

There are a number of other prenatal and postpartum training certifications. Some are stricter than others. The best thing to do is ask a potential trainer how they would approach your pre- and postpartum fitness training and ask about their level of experience with pregnant clients.

Since this is a more specialized area, ask how they have tailored their recommendations to meet the diverse needs of previous pregnant clients. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can also opt for virtual training, which can be helpful if you live in an area without the specialist trainer you need.

Find someone you work well with

When looking for a trainer at this delicate point in your life, your personal comfort should not be overlooked. During my own pregnancy, I decided to continue working with my current coach. Although his experience working with pregnant clients was very limited, by this point he had trained me for four years, had a good sense of my fitness background, and we already had a good relationship.

The goal is always to have a trainer who you are comfortable with. This is doubly true during pregnancy and after giving birth, considering how quickly your body is changing. There will be days when you have energy and days when you are out of energy, and your level of comfort for certain activities will no doubt change over time. To deal with all of this rapid change, you need a fitness trainer who is adaptable and communicative.