FIT Mamas!

FIT Mamas!

I recently had the chance to do a 5 day mini course on “How to get Started on Coaching Pre & Post Natal Clients”, from the wonderful ladies at Girls Gone Strong. The emailed content takes the reader through the “do’s and don’ts” of exercise and nutrition within the 3 trimesters of pregnancy, post-partum and beyond. They also include the potential mindset of a woman throughout their pregnancy and into the future. I can attest that this information was delivered in an easy to read, clear and concise manner and would highly recommend it to anyone who works with women who are pre or post-natal. One quote that really stuck with me was, “Studies show 85% of women in the U.S. will have at least one baby and that once they do, they’re postpartum forever.” Here I want to share some of the information that I learned.



  • Client will be experiencing a lot of physical and psychological changes, such as changes to her body, sleep and hormones
  • Exercises goals include increasing strength to the whole body core, and pelvic floor
  • Encouraging client to stay active through mild to moderate fatigue (which is different than morning sickness)
  • Promoting healthy weight gain (no extra calories needed yet)



  • Decrease in nausea and fatigue, with increase in energy
  • Maintaining general muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Exercises to be done lying on back (supine) are ok only if there are NO symptoms of light headedness, tingling in legs, or nausea (exercises can be on an incline of 15deg to alleviate any possible concerns)
  • Noticeable changes in linea alba and separation of abdominal muscles (check for any bulging in midline of abdominals)
  • No conclusive evidence that food cravings significantly increase the consumption of one type of food or lead to overeating and weight gain



  • Possible increase in physical discomfort as baby grows with increase in fatigue
  • Want to maintain a comfortable level of activity
  • Incorporate birth-preparation exercises into workout
  • Minimize any bulging/doming of anterior core and downward pressure on pelvic floor
  • Increase in extra calories (~ 450 more)
  • Continue to weight gain



  • After clearance from her primary care provider, there are breathing exercises and gentle movements she can do during the first six weeks postpartum (short walks, basic stretching)
  • important to emphasize that rushing through this phase does not lead to a faster recovery, and could in fact, ultimately lead to more dysfunction and a slower return to sports or exercise.
  • proper nutrition is important to help body recover
  • After giving birth, up to 80% of women experience weepiness and irritability (changes in hormones)
  • 15% of women experience low moods for a month or more after birth. This is a symptom of postnatal or postpartum depression (advise to see general practioner)



  • need to be sure that core and pelvic floor are functioning well before more intense exercise.
  • light bodyweight movements and some short walks starting with about 10 min/day (0-6 weeks post)
  • slowly return to strength training and longer bouts of walking (7-12 weeks post)
  • programming is designed to help a client strengthen and bulletproof her body so that at the end of the 42 weeks, her body is prepared for nearly any activity she wants to try (13-42 weeks post)
  • standard recommendation for women breastfeeding is consume ~300 to 500 extra calories/day and stay hydrated
  • many women often feel dissatisfied with their postpartum body, remind them that different is NOT bad

Written by: Marina White

Author: Global

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