A message from Sam Ashworth, Wolfe Den resident Myotherapist
I hope you are all keeping well. I just wanted to reach out to you with some handy information about women’s health in and around training. At Wolfe Den, the health and safety of all our athletes is our number one priority and for any athletes becoming pregnant, in the middle of your pregnancy or postpartum, we are here to encourage and support you through exercise within a safe and controlled environment, whilst working alongside your medical practitioners.
Most women are generally able to continue to perform the exercises they were doing prior to becoming pregnant. Women without contraindications should be physically active most days of the week, it is recommended between 150-300 minutes per week.
During the different stages of pregnancy a few factors are needed to be taken into consideration.
· Moderate intensity – ‘talk test’ (ensuring the ability to still talk during exercise)
· Avoiding over-heating and dehydration
· Centre of gravity changes as the baby grows certain hormone production specifically targeting ligaments to create laxity which may increase the risk of instability.
· Decrease in blood pressure can increase the risk of dizziness or fainting – avoiding sudden changes in posture - .E.g. upside down positions (handstands, wall walks etc) or quick up and down movements (burpees)
· Avoiding max isometric contractions
· Avoiding exercises /activities that can increase the risk of falling or impact to the body
· During the 2nd and 3rd trimester avoiding exercises/activities in supine position (on your back)
· Avoiding environments of excessive temperatures E.g Spas, saunas, ice baths etc.
Movement during pregnancy
A large range of exercises can still be performed with some slight variations as you progress in your pregnancy and to minimise any dangers and risks to you and your baby.
Examples of some modifications:
- Cardio: Running, Skipping > scale to > Rowing, ski erg, echo, concept Bike
- Box Jumps > scale to > Step ups
- Burpees > scale to > Elevated box/bar push ups
- Pull ups > scale to > Ring rows, bent over dumbbell rows
- HSPU > scale to > Barbell (BB)/ dumbbell (DB) push press/strict press
- Deadlifts > scale to > Sumo BB/KB/DB deadlifts
- BB Snatches > scale to > DB hang snatches
- BB Clean and Jerks > scale to > DB hang clean and jerk
It is encouraged very light exercises such as gentle walking and pelvic floor exercises are started around 2 weeks postpartum.
In most cases women will have their follow up appointment with their Doctor around 6 weeks postpartum. At this time, the physical and hormonal effects start to settle and most women without contraindications are given all clear to resume light to moderate exercise.
High Load and impact exercises will take longer to be re-introduced as the main focus needs to be on healthy Pelvic Floor Function.
There is no evidence to suggest that exercise has a negative impact on lactation as long as there is adequate calorie intake.
Thanks so much for reading – for further information we encourage you to speak to a medical practitioner to develop a personalised plan suitable for you as we understand every woman and their journey is different.
Should you have more questions, feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or to book an appointment, click here.