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The A Life guide to Moving through a healthy, happy pregnancy

Q: Can I do classes at The A Life if I am pregnant?
It depends on the class and your previous experience with us. Here at The A Life we have the following guidelines:

  • If you are new to our studio;
    We allow you to start your movement journey with
    Clinical Pilates and our Wednesdays 7pm Yin yoga class. These two options are also a great combination throughout the pregnancy.
  • If you are an existing student;
    We are more than happy for you to continue group classes up to 24 weeks. (We will give you adjustments to class as needed).  

Beyond this period, the regular classes (except yin yoga) become tricky to be safe and we recommend continuing your journey with clinical pilates.  Clinical Pilates allows us to tailor your program to all the areas that will benefit you through the trimesters. 
Q: If I were to continue my movement practice throughout pregnancy, what are some simple guidelines?
The specific changes to your movement practice will be individual to each person, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Most importantly : Stop exercise if you’re experiencing any abnormal symptoms (eg/ dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches) or if something doesn’t feel quite right. Take a minute to rest and then see if you feel well enough to continue.
  • Aim to keep your heart rate below 140 BPM.|
  • Be sure to monitor your heat and sweat levels, be careful to not overheat/exert yourself.
  • Bring a large water bottle to class so that you can maintain adequate hydration.
  • It’s recommended that you avoid direct prone (lying on your tummy) or supine (lying on your back) work after the first trimester. If you are in either of these positions you can use props (towel, cushion, yoga block) to make this more comfortable.
  • Be careful with over stretching. During pregnancy the body releases a hormone called Relaxin that gives your connective tissue/joints more flexibility to prepare the body for birth. As a result you may feel more bendy but we need to be careful to not over stretch these connective tissues, or ligaments especially around the pelvis.
  • Be careful with rapid changes in position as your centre of mass and blood pressure isn’t what it normally is!
  • Be careful with prolonged standing or holding any one position for a long period of time whilst holding your breath.
  • Avoid hyper extension of the lumbar spine (over arching the lower back).
  • When side lying, lay with your right hip to the sky, especially in 3rd trimester (Mothers always right). This ensures that your baby isn’t compressing any major blood vessels in the abdomen.
  • Avoid intense adductor (inner thigh) work.
  • Approach abdominal work with caution as this can cause the abdominal muscles to split. Some core exercises are fine and you should check with your instructor to see which is appropriate for you. This guideline is particularly important in the 3rd trimester.
  • Avoid inversions or any upside down movements.
  • Running should be approached with caution especially beyond 20 weeks.

Q: What are some areas in my body that I should focus on throughout pregnancy?
As always it will be different for different bodies. Below are some broad areas to consider:

  • Breathing laterally (out to the sides) and ensuring we are maximising the full capacity of the ribs as bub naturally reduces the lung capacity.
  • Bringing awareness to your body and balance as it continues to change across the 9 months.
  • Practicing conscious relaxation is important for everyone put especially important as you prepare to move into another phase of life.  This is the time for ultimate self care!
  • Pelvic floor awareness and control will be very important throughout and after pregnancy.
  • Developing lower back strength and strong glutes will be important for supporting the body as bub continues to grow and shifts your centre of mass forwards.
  • Developing good arch control within the feet will be important as you will have an increase in pressure going through the feet. We also know that the arches within the feet are important for pelvic floor control.
  • Some things we usually recommend outside of classes is light walking daily and sitting on the floor at home instead of the couch 🙂

Q: What are some areas in my diet & lifestyle should I focus on throughout pregnancy?

  • Once you are pregnant, this is not the time for cleanses, detoxes or protocols with herbs. 
  • A clean, nutrition rich diet rich in Protein, Omegas,  B vitamins & Iron
  • All supplementation should be reviewed once pregnant and through each stage.
  • This is the time for being as stress free as possible.  Sleep, self care, self love should be an absolute priority.

Q: What areas can Osteopathy help with during pregnancy?                
There are a number of musculoskeletal complaints which can arise in the pregnant patient. Below are some common conditions that Osteopathy can assist with:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Postural strains around the neck and shoulders
  • Pelvic pain (with a musculoskeletal origin)
  • Breathing difficulties and rib pain
  • Lower back pain (with a musculoskeletal origin)
  • Maintaining/promoting healthy natural changes in each stage of pregnancy in the abdominal cavity, spine and posture.

Q: How can a Nutritionist help me during pregnancy?
A Nutritionist can support you throughout pregnancy in a number of ways.
Below are some common areas we can assist you with:

  • Provide you with a nutritional handout with the ‘do’s and don’t’ throughout pregnancy
  • Review blood test results along with your GP to ensure that you and your baby are thriving
  • Provide you with practitioner only high quality supplementation (quality and form of supplementation is very important)
  • Help you manage with blood sugar issues like gestational diabetes.
  • Review your diet to minimise any deficiencies. Some common deficiencies include Iron, B vitamins & Omegas
  • Support you throughout pregnancy to manage morning sickness and odd food cravings


November 15, 2018

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