exercising safely during pregnancy

5 "Scary" Myths About Prenatal Fitness

In honor of Halloween, we’ve put together our top 5 “scary” myths that continue to persist in the pre/postnatal fitness world.

Have you heard any of these before?

 
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You should keep your heart rate under 140BPM’s.

This was a guideline that was recommended in the past but has since been eliminated by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG). Everyone’s level of fitness and resting heart rate is different before pregnancy which means giving a “one size fits all” number doesn’t make sense. We now use “perceived level of exertion” or the “talk test”. Basically if you feel like you are pushing too hard and gasping for air, it’s a sign to slow down.

It’s dangerous to lift heavy weights.

This is another guideline that was given to keep the heart rate from going above 140bpm’s. Lifting weights spikes your blood pressure for a short period of time, but so does stress, running to catch a cab, chasing toddlers, and living life! :) You want to lift weights in order to maintain and build muscle tone. Don’t forget you have a newborn that you are going to be lifting and holding on the way. It’s wise to build up that strength now and not once you are dealing with sleep deprivation and fatigue.

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You can continue doing whatever workouts you did before pregnancy.

This one is the scariest myth of all! While many of your pre-pregnancy workouts are indeed safe for the baby, they aren’t necessarily safe for your core and pelvic floor. It’s important to train differently and with a lot more intention during pregnancy in order to ensure a complete postpartum recovery. (Apply that Pump & Kegel!!) Many people that continue their pre-pregnancy routine throughout pregnancy end up doing damage to their bodies (Diastsis Recti and pelvic floor problems) that can cause pain or discomfort for the rest of their lives.

Crunches are safe before you start to “show”.

Fine for the baby, yes. Safe for your body? Probably not. We recognize that every body type is different and some women continue crunching long into their 2nd trimester without any problems, but they are lucky. Bottom line, the more you strengthen your Rectus Abdominis (6-pack) and Obliques, the more strain you are going to place on your linea alba as your belly starts to expand. We recommend you step away from your traditional crunches and oblique work and begin focusing on strengthening your Transverse Abdominis (TVA) as soon as you know you are pregnant.

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You can go back to your regular workout classes when you are cleared at 6-weeks.

You had an easy pregnancy and amazing delivery. You exercised up until the day you delivered, you feel great and just got clearance from your care provider (sometimes as early as 2 weeks) that it is safe to go back to your pre-pregnacny workouts. Doing too much too soon can cause serious lasting damage. Your core and pelvic floor has been under a tremendous amount of strain for many months. It’s going to take more than 6 weeks to heal. In fact, your first 12 weeks postpartum are considered your “critical healing period”. That’s when you body is doing all the work to bring your linea alba back together and restore strength and function to your pelvic floor. It’s great that you feel amazing, but if you misread that as “healed” and head out for a run and then do 100 crunches, you may end up giving yourself a Diastasis Recti or pelvic organ prolapse. (that’s pretty scary). Honor what your body has just been through and allow it to rest and heal. That intense sweat sesh will still be there when you are really ready for it a few more weeks from now.


Questions about pre or postnatal exercise? Ask us in class! We love questions and want to make sure you are moving through your pregnancy and recovery with 100% confidence.

15-Minute At Home Glutes and Lower Body Workout X Parents.com

Don't let you butt disappear during pregnancy!  We partnered up with Parents.com to bring you this 15-minute glutes and lower body workout. Click on the image below to start working that booty!  

FPC in the News!

FPC had an amazing press week.  Check out our mentions in the articles below and don't forget to treat yourself to a 15-min, in home workout! 

Parents

15-Minute At Home Prenatal Workout

Well + Good

4 Moves Every New Mom Should Master Before Jumping Back Into Fitness 

Romper

You Really Can Run Through Your Whole Pregnancy, So Why Does Everyone Say You Can't? 

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise #3

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The Myth:

A woman can not lie on her back during pregnancy.

Why this myth exists

There is a risk of the depression of the vena cava (a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood to the heart) by the weight of the placenta, uterus and baby while on your back during your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

FPC’s answer:

In a healthy pregnancy, lying on your back for a short period of time, for example, the completion of one exercise, isn’t likely to have any repercussions.  In general, we usually don’t put women on their backs during our workouts, but sometimes we may.  (For example, pelvic tilts are a great way to release lower back tension!)  Your body will let you know long before you are at risk.  If you feel faint, lightheaded, nauseous, dizzy, or short of breath, move yourself off your back and on to your side.  Once you adjust your position, the symptoms will resolve with no harm to you or your baby.  

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Move of The Week: Crib Lifts

We are continuing our Functional Fitness Series with the boss babes at The Parent Collective

Check out week two: Crib Lifts!

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise

We recently overheard someone’s prenatal trainer tell their pregnant client “Don’t bring your knees above your belly” at one of the biggest gym chains in New York City. This gave us the idea to start a series to debunk some of the pregnancy exercise myths floating around in the universe.  

 

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Carolina did headstands before pregnancy so she's fine to do them now, right?

Well that depends.  Is she properly engaging her TVA and pelvic floor?  

 

 

THE MYTHIt’s safe to continue doing all the same workouts you did before pregnancy.

Why this myth exists

We hear this advice coming from the media AND our prenatal care practitioners.  The media is the media but your Dr or provider should know better, right?  Not exactly.  It’s not your OB or midwife’s job to make sure you are exercising safely during pregnancy.  They have a general knowledge of exercise science and general knowledge says exercise is good for humans and especially great for moms-to-be.  Unless there is a medical concern, they want you to keep exercising but they haven’t spent the countless hours geeking out over the science that studies the safest and most efficient way to make that happen…lucky for you, we have!

FPCs answer

We always say, just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Your OB or midwife is very good at what they specialized in and so are we!  Their recommendation to “continue the same workout you did prior to pregnancy” is coming from a very good place.  We want you to continue your favorite workouts as well, but you need to continue doing it with more intention, better posture and a deeper understanding of how to incorporate your entire core from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor. Your comfort during pregnancy and postpartum recovery depend on it.  Whether or not you chose to devote your entire pregnancy to FPC workouts or not, it is a good idea to come in for at least a few classes (or check out our online workouts if you can't access the studio) to solidify a safe prenatal exercise practice. 

 

What have you heard?  Leave a comment on our Instagram or Facebook and tell us what myths or mysterious exercise advice you’ve received since becoming pregnant and we’ll talk about it in an upcoming post!