Katrina spends a day in front of the camera for 12WBT
This September saw 12 Week Body Transformation launch 2 new programs – for pregnancy and post-natal. 12WBT has more of a reputation around working out, weight loss and adopting a positive long term outlook to well being, lifestyle and exercise. The pregnancy and post-natal programs are more about maintaining a healthy, active but appropriate level of exercise and nutrition at these special times in a woman's life. Yours truly was contacted by the 12WBT team and asked whether I would happily part with the knowledge and expertise we have here at The Fix Program when it comes to exercise in pregnancy and early post-bub days.
I was preened and tweeked and interviewed in front of camera, and from this 2 videos have been released. These unfortunately are only for the 12WBT program subscribers, but if you really want to see them, do be in touch.
What were the big messages that I emphasised for pregnant women and exercise?
- Listen to your body – now is not the time to get fit, take up running your first marathon, or pushing heavy weights about.
- Obtain the medical all clear from your doctor before exercise.
- Pelvic floor muscles first. Be aware or their very important role and remember that they are very tired within pregnancy. Learn to activate them correctly, and to know how to also give them a rest ( or to let go). Avoid high impact exercise when down there is already very loaded and tired.
- Postural awareness and the massive changes on the spine, pelvis and hips in pregnancy. Take the time to 'set' your posture (such as pelvis neutral and waists tall) and move more slowly in exercise. It's not about racing, it's about being safe.
- Remember the effects of pregnancy hormones such as relaxin and keep movements controlled. Try to avoid jerky movements or bouncing at the very end of a stretch. Your joints may not cope with this extra elasticity and get injured. This is particularly so about the pelvic joints – your pubic bone and sacral joints in your buttocks.
- The big no-nos. Never exercise and seek immediate medical opinion if you are having vaginal bleeding, shortness of breath, decreased foetal of baby movements, high levels of pelvic and/or back pain.
What were the big messages for new mums and being safe in exercise?
- Obtain the medical clearance after having baby for you to start up exercise.
- Give your body at least 8 weeks to recover from your labour, whether you had a vaginal or C-section birth. If you had a high intervention birth with stitches, forceps and vacuum, you may even need longer. Seek advice
- Pelvic floor strength and control first. Your pelvic floor needs time to regain some strength. It is tired and sometimes traumatised. Appropriate pelvic floor exercises learned and practiced daily is essential before embarking on medium to high impact exercise. Start these in those early days. Forget the jogging for at least 4-5 months until you have your strength (and lift) through these muscles back.
- Avoiding prolapse and ongoing pelvic floor issues is best prevented, not cured.
- Postural awareness is again essential. Your body is now getting used to not having a belly bump, so take the time to 'set' your postures in your day – when exercising, feeding, carrying, sitting, or pushing the pram.
- Give yourself time and don't be hard on yourself to get your pre-baby body back tomorrow. It takes up to one full year to address your postures, pelvic floor muscle control, reduce abdominal separation and start to lose your pregnancy weight.
- You will be tired, so do a little when you can. On the floor with bub for 5 minutes. Here are some basic mat exercises for your pelvic floor, pelvic control, stretching. All will help.
All in all, it was a great experience and my relationship with 12WBT will continue as I head up some guest posts for their blog, the first is here on pregnancy incontinence. Don't worry. Although it was amazing to feel a bit special and in the limelight, it wasn't as great as being here at the clinic teaching all of you guys!