Personal Training is a one-on-one experience for pregnant and postnatal mummas with bubs or children who want to feel empowered, motivated and educated in achieving optimal body fitness and functioning. Experience 45 minute Personal Training sessions designed specifically to meet your individual needs so you can achieve your goals, wherever you are along the spectrum of motherhood. Learn corrective exercises for muscles that are weak and need strengthening in order for you to function optimally and free of pain. This is suitable if is your goal is to reduce pain in your body, improve poor posture, achieve body strength during pregnancy or weight loss postnatally.
A pre-participation screening & questionnaire will be performed and you should obtain medical clearance prior to engaging in vigorous physical activity.
If you have specific issues arising during pregnancy or postnatally, you may find many traditional exercises will only exacerbate your current physical dysfunction.
The time for learning corrective exercises is now, before your condition becomes chronic.
Personal Training may incorporate the following –
- Fitness assessment - evaluate your current fitness levels so you can set realistic and achievable goals. A Fitness Assessment measures height, weight, body composition, blood pressure and muscular endurance
- General Musculoskeletal Screening (GMS) - identify functional limitations and range of motion. It incorporates relevant tests
- Postural Analysis - looks at the whole body to identify tight and weak muscles. It allows us to design a personal training program that will help you improve your body's balance and alignment
- Personalised exercise program - allows you to not just improve how you feel, but optimise how you function
- Breathing techniques - Be coached in using techniques which are the foundation of natural birthing
- Mind Body Connection - Harness your mind body connection and enhance your ability to achieve your goals using visualisations and positive affirmations
Why should I have a personal trainer?
Fitness, nutrition and wellbeing become so much more important when you are pregnant or have children. How are you going to enjoy your pregnancy or keep up with your family demands if you are struggling with your health and wellbeing? Personal Training can give you the support, motivation and knowledge you need to help you achieve your optimal body fitness, allowing you to be the best possible version of yourself.
Other research based benefits include -
- Build endurance so you feel strong and empowered for birth. During exercise, the same hormones that decrease the pain of labour are also generated. Fit women not only perceive labour as less painful, but actually reduce the duration of labour's second stage
- Increased physical health scores (as measured immediately upon birth and up to five years later) show fewer fetal interventions and less pregnancy complications
- Reduce stress, which can result in low birth weight which correlates with high blood pressure in mothers, long term infant behavioural problems such as ADD, and cognitive and neuromotor developmental delays.
- Moderate exercise specifically elevates a hormone which is linked to better brain development in the womb
- Manage excessive weight gain, which has implications for your unborn baby, who is more likely to suffer from obesity in later life
- Prevent or treat pregnancy health risks such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and hypertension, which are more likely if you are overweight
- Increase oxytocin, the hormone of love that results in a greater sense of wellbeing, which studies have found is released during exercise.
- Feel a greater mind-body-baby connection
- Reduce your risk of postnatal depression, obesity and hypertension
- Experience a faster postnatal recovery
Postnatal PT is tailored to correct the cause of dysfunction and reduce pain. Other research based benefits include -
- Decrease imbalance in hypertonic muscles
- Increase muscle mass and improve your energy & metabolism
- Strengthen weak muscles to improve biomechanics
- Increase flexibility and range of motion
- Improve cellular nutrition, respiration and metabolism
- Assist weight loss
- Reduce your risk of postnatal depression, obesity and hypertension
- Feel a greater sense of wellbeing
- Improve sleep patterns, increase endorphins and serotonin levels
- Decrease stress hormones
- Enhance immune system repair
- Improve muscle tone & muscle suppleness
- Programs can be tailored for rehabilitation after C-Section, Episiotomy and Diastasis
When should I have a personal trainer?
While pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, you should not use your growing belly as an excuse not to exercise. Think about what kind of birth you want? Do you want a long, painful labour or an easy and relatively quick birth? Often described as an endurance event or a marathon, the truth is, the fitter you are the more likely you are to have a shorter and less painful birth.
If your goal is to build endurance and strength so you feel empowered for birth, then our personal training programs can help. For example, functional cardiovascular exercises are one part of a program designed to elevate your heart rate for 30-90 seconds, which is around the same length a contraction may last. Your maximum heart rate for your age is calculated and existing fitness levels are considered so that adjustments to your training program can be made accordingly during each trimester.
The Institute of Medicine has reduced the weight gain objectives for pregnant women. The weight ranges below are for a full-term pregnancy:
- Underweight: 28 to 40 pounds | 12 kg to 18 kg
- Normal: 25 to 35 pounds | 11 kg to 15 kg
- Overweight: 15 to 25 pounds | 6 kg to 11 kg
- Obese: 11 to 20 pounds | 4 kg to 9 kg
But how much exercise is safe during pregnancy? There's no scientific evidence to suggest women should "take it easy" during pregnancy. And besides, is it realistic to ask an avid exerciser to go from an hour of cardio 5-6 days a week to light exercise or yoga without gaining more than the recommended weight? Further, did you know you can actually safely work out at a higher rate without feeling as fatigued?
There is one school of thought that believes if exercise is too strenuous, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, your baby's heart rate and breathing begins to decline. According to John Medina's "Brain Rules for Baby" (2010), that's because overly strenuous exercise shuts off blood flow to the womb, restricting baby's oxygen supply and the womb can overheat. However, according to (Artal & Posner, 1991), problems of such fetal distress, as determined by fetal heart rate (FHR) and fetal movement, are rare and have been shown to occur only in women who were unfit and engaged in episodic, vigorous exercise during pregnancy. Learn about the efficiency of the vascular system during pregnancy and the positive effects exercise has on your baby during an Embodiment PT program. Utilising our expertise and knowledge about exercising during pregnancy, you can achieve your fitness goals safely and confidently.
Absolute Contraindications to Exercise During Pregnancy (Adapted by Shelby Scott, M.D., from ACOG Committee Opinion 267, 2002) –
- Hemodynamically significant heart disease
- Restrictive lung disease
- Incompetent cervix or cervical cerclage
- Multiple gestation with risk for preterm labour
- Persistent second or third trimester bleeding
- Placenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation
- Premature labour during the current pregnancy
- Rupture of membranes
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Relative Contraindications to Exercise During Pregnancy (Adapted From ACOG Committee Opinion 267, 2002)
- History of sedentary lifestyle
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Poorly controlled hypertension
- Poorly controlled seizure disorder
- Poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes
- Severe anemia
- Chronic bronchitis
- Maternal cardiac arrhythmia
- Poorly controlled thyroid disease
- Extremely overweight (morbid obesity)
- Extremely underweight (BMI x 12)
- Orthopaedic limitations
- Pre-existing sacroiliitis, symphysitis, and lumbar facet joint inflammation may also be exacerbated by strenuous exercise
If you have no complications during or after birth, it is safe to start gentle cardio exercise such as walking when you feel you have recovered from birth. This should generally be within the first six to eight weeks, although it is advisable to perform pelvic floor exercises sooner than this. If your goal is to return to your pre-baby body, you have a window of opportunity to change the width of your hips to your pre-birth size. That's because relaxin, a group of hormones which helps ligaments become more supple and pliable during pregnancy, significantly reduces in the first 6-8 weeks after birth, which makes it easier to change your body shape before ligaments and joints harden again. However, this means there's a greater risk of injury so avoid movements that are excessive or high impact.
If you've had a Caesarean section you may not feel ready to return to exercise for at least six weeks or more after giving birth. It may take 2–6 months before you feel completely recovered. But keep in mind, generally some relaxin may remain in the body for up to four to six months, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Our Personal Training programs are suitable from four weeks if no complications or eight weeks if c-section.
Contraindications to Postnatal Exercise - Avoid vigorous, high impact or resistance exercise if you have –
- Caesarean section – 8 weeks min
- wound or breast infection
- hypertensive or thrombotic conditions
- pelvic floor weakness
- joint or back pain
- previous pelvic conditions (symphysis pubis dysfunction)
- diastasis or separation of the rectus abdominis (RA) muscle
Clearance should be obtained by your doctor, midwife or doula before beginning your exercise program.