Prenatal Workouts (Doctor Approved)

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    Prenatal Workouts (Doctor Approved)

    I was just hitting my stride on my new fitness regime to lose 60 lbs, when I found out I am pregnant. I am currently overweight, and so my doctor has approved my continued workout schedule in order to maintain if not even lose a few pounds, with the caveat that I don't strain myself. My problem is I usually do pretty intense combat-style workouts, lots of HIIT and cardio. But, since this is no longer an option, I'm looking for suggestions on the best types of workouts to do while not jarring my belly (and other growing parts) about and causing health issues for myself and baby. I've searched the database for prenatal workouts but there aren't any, so now I'm just hoping you guys have some suggestions.

    #2
    Modify to low impact...I love HIIT but have multiple spine issues and can't tolerate high impact. Example high knees modified to march steps, jumping jacks to step jacks, etc. Here is a link for Fit Pregnancy which may help . Yoga and walking in general will also be good for you. My kids are all mostly grown, but perhaps some of the younger mamas here will give you further insight. Congrats on the pregnancy and the blessing of life!

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      #3
      Yayenia ... welcome to The Hive, the social side of DareBee.
      Losing weight should always include some 'activity', but the bulk of the weight lost is due to a change in diet.
      Which could be a huge problem for a pregnant woman.
      Have you already eliminated all excess sugars from your diet? Limited the 'fake sugars' as well? Reduced the simple carbs?
      Your baby will need protein, fat, and complex carbs to develop.
      You can also use the Yoga and walking suggested by MissMolly to put off hunger pangs.

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        #4
        I think what I've read is that during pregnancy one should work out at either 60% or 80% of the normal intensity. I don't remember which it was (and I'm too lazy to look it up this early in the morning, but here's a link to Dana Vollmer talking about a swim race while six months pregnant). But certain risky sports (like football, American football, bobsledding, basketball, etc.) are a complete no go during pregnancy. Likewise sports where you're likely to fall down (like climbing or trampoline junping).

        Food is of the utmost importance here, though. I should start this segment by telling you how much weight one is supposed to gain during pregnancy. According to the Institute of Medicine a normal weight woman (BMI 18.5 - 24.9) is supposed to gain 11 - 16 kg. An overweight woman (BMI 25 - 29.9) is supposed to gain 7 - 11 kg and an obese woman (BMI > 30) is supposed to gain 5 - 9 kg. These are generalised suggestions and of course if your doctor agrees you can go outside of these recommendations. But they show something very important.
        Because 9 kg of pregnancy weight are not fat but rather infrastructure and baby. Which means that any gain below 9 kg actually means the woman is losing fat. Since this is within the recommended range for both overweight and obese women we can see that a bit of fat loss during pregnancy is actively recommended.
        The normal weight woman would thus only gain 2 - 7 kg of fat. How and when would she gain this? During the third trimester a woman is supposed to eat 300 - 500 kcal over her pre-pregnancy TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), and of course during the first and second trimester she should already eat a bit more than usual, but not too much more, pregnant women don't eat for two, they eat for 1.2 - 1.3. This will make her gain weight at a rate of 0.3 - 0.5 kg per week (because 1 kg of fat has 7000 kcal). After birth the woman is still supposed to eat 300 - 500 kcal over her pre-pregnancy TDEE and every day, for breastfeeding, the body takes an additional 200 kcal from the fat reserves. This means 500 - 700 kcal of breastmilk per day for the baby.
        This means that 2 kg of fat last ten weeks, aka 70 days, and 7 kg of fat last 35 weeks, aka 245 days. If one wishes to breasfeed for longer and finds that one's weight is approaching BMI 18.5, then one simply needs to eat more, for me this isn't a problem (this is why I have chub rub).

        What does this mean for you? For you this presents a very tangible lower bound for your weight. You simply take your BMI (I always suggest the New BMI, because it just fits better) and figure out which weight you'd have at BMI 20 (for me, because I'm 1.71 m, this is 59 kg). Then you add 9 kg to that (for me that's 68 kg/BMI 23.1, aka my current weight), this is the weight you should not go below during your pregnancy, this is the absolute minimum. Now add 2 - 7 kg, depending on how long you want to breastfeed. If I do it like my sister then 4 kg will be sufficient for me, meaning 72 kg/BMI 24.5, aka a kilo below my starting weight.
        Don't worry if you underestimate your breastfeeding time. From BMI 20 to 18.5 there are still several kg (at my height 4.5 kg, aka 22.5 weeks of breastfeeding). This means BMI + 9 kg + 0.2 kg per week you want to breastfeed is your goal weight.

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          #5
          Hi Yayenia and congratulations on your pregnancy! My litte daughter is 14 months old now, and I've been active throughout the pregnancy and during most of the time after. (It surprised me that the pregnancy was nothing compared to the post-partum phase. I felt way more energetic, comfortable and ready to move in month 8 than in month 1 post-baby.)
          My advice would be to yes, watch what you eat and keep your eye on your weight, but don't stress too much. During pregnancy and breastfeeding (if you plan to do so) our hormones are very much stacked against any weight loss, plus many women (myself, but most others I talked to) experience nausea during at least parts of the pregnancy that seems to be related to blood sugar, meaning it goes away if you eat something. Of course you have a choice what to eat (I was carrying protein bars with me wherever I went for a few months) and how much, but keeping a strict diet may be difficult. Also don't go by the numbers too much. I know that the post above is very scientific, but in my experience, bodies just react very differently to the breastfeeding.
          - My cousin had her baby a month after myself and she was back to her before-pregnancy weight and below after a very few months without trying. She even breastfed exclusively through a bad stomach bug which made her lose even more weight - but the baby was fine and kept gaining weight. (She tells me she doesn't like sweets.)
          - I breastfeed exclusively for at time, then started my girl on solids, and my weight suddenly decreased without me doing much about it when she was about 10 months. Now I helped the rest of the way along with a diet.
          - I have a friend who exclusively breastfeeds her 7-month old who weighs over 10kg (which means, she producesmore than 1.5 litres of milk every day) and she's still a little above her pre-pregnancy weight. Her body apparently keeps things stable by heightening her appetite...

          So most women I know have not had large fluctuations in weight from the breastfeeding, except for my (enviable) cousin who's apparently a low-appetite person - we probably automatically ate more. So don't worry about that part. Personally I would also not recommend setting a fixed goal weight, but focus on healthy eating and being active. Pregnancy is really stressful as it is and new moms feel like a failure too much of the time already, without failing at their too-high weight goals, too

          About the activities: Personally, I had a rather high activity level before I became pregnant and just adjusted that downward as I got bigger. No more concentric abs exercises after week 20, no sparring, no high-impact stuff before week 12 and after, well, probably week 20 or so as well. No high kicks when the belly got in the way. No dropping on floor or rolling when it became difficult. No holding pads or punching pads at all, only controlled shadowboxing. You could look at Foundation Light here on Darebee as a program that has very low impact exercises but will get you sweating if you do it at a brisk (not crazy) pace. Personally, I also took some prenatal yoga classes and incorporated the modifications I had learned there when doing online yoga (I like Yoga with Adriene, she's awesome). Swimming is highly recommended during pregnancy, though for some reason I never went

          All the best for the two of you and keep us posted!

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks everyone. I'm quite aware of the dietary needs, that's all taken care of. I'm just looking for the safe exercises, and you've all given great options. Unfortunately, swimming is out of the question because, 1) I live in the tundra of Idaho where we have no pools, and 2) I'm severely hydrophobic due to drowning when I was a kid. I am however looking at all the other suggestions and I've really found some good ones. Thank you for all the caring replies! I am already implementing some of them and it feels good to be doing something again. Thanks again!

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              #7
              I know I'm a few days late but I wanted to pop in; say welcome and congrats and mention what I learned over my two pregnancies. (I'm 3 months post partum now so it's fresh).

              The number one suggestion I would have is listen to your body. It absolutely should tell you when you need to quit. And sometimes that ends up being in the middle of a workout that you did yesterday with no problem. Walk, walk, walk. If you were running with your cardio then I would say you should still be able to keep running just without pushing yourself. If you're unsure/uncomfortable about a specific exercise; ask your doctor/midwife or straight up leave it out (I found using the fit pregnancy website helped answer many of my workout questions fairly well too; it was my go-to before I found Darebee). Don't be upset if you end up gaining more than expected anyway; sometimes your body just decides that's what it needs. Also; hydrate like crazy! Your blood volume is going to increase over the next several months and you'll need a ton more water to keep your energy up.

              Congrats again and I wish you a smooth pregnancy!

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                #8
                I apologize for writing in such an old thread but I've just faced the same problem as you have. I found out that I am pregnant and I urgently need to lose weight to keep my baby alive. I know that it is very dangerous for pregnant women to do heavy exercises and they need constant supervision. At one of the forums, someone suggested that I use the services of iinsight.biz, where you can create an online client card and directly contact the center of pediatric therapy. Experts in this center will be able to create my personal training plan specifically for pregnant moms. Personally, I think that this is a great option, but I would like to hear your opinions.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by AmberDecker View Post
                  I apologize for restarting such an old thread, but I just faced the same problem as you. I found out that I am pregnant, but I urgently need to lose weight in order to keep my baby alive. Can you share with your experience?
                  If you have access to an incline treadmill then that's a good substitute for running. Same intensity with less impact.

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