Exercise During Pregnancy: Essential Quick Tips

by Wendy Foster

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Hopefully, the morning sickness has passed and you are ready to take care of your body and baby through daily exercise so that you can prepare for your marathon of labor + recover more quickly! ACOG  (www.acog.org) has updated their EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY guidelines and are encouraging regular, prenatal movement now more than ever.

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Mamalates Class (notice the babies!)

Here are some other tips to keep in mind while you prepare for your baby’s arrival through movement.

Exercise 5-6 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.

  • This can be vigorous (fast walking, running, biking)
  • Use resistance bands or up to 5 lb. weights for upper body strengthening.
  • Remember, your body is producing the hormone relaxin–DO NOT over stretch or twist.

Encourage optimal fetal positioning!

  • DO Get on hands and knees, sit with hips higher than knees (on a couch in a car, at your desk) as much as you can during your pregnancy–especially the 3rd trimester.
  • Try to maintain ideal posture and alignment- DO NOT allow your low back to “over arch” as your belly grows.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if they can palpate and feel the position of your baby–many midwives are right on with this–so that you have time to turn your baby if needed.

Learn how to properly engage your abdominals so as not to encourage diastasis recti (abdominal separation).

  • DO NOT perform traditional “CRUNCHES”
  • Recruit your lower abdominals and pelvic floor during all exercise and movement
  • Maintain length through your torso–as you run, walk, swim, etc.

Squats, squats and MORE squats!
The average labor is 15-16 hrs long. This could be lots of time standing, squatting, moving.
Prepare for the marathon of labor by strengthening your legs as much as possible is key to maintaining your stamina and “owning” your birthing position.

  • Perform squats against the wall, with or without a birthing ball.
  • Adjust your leg positioning after each set of 20: wide legs, hip distance apart, heel’s together/toes out.              This will work all your leg muscles + open your hips.
  • Press through your feet and work your leg muscles as you lower AND as you lift up.
  • Recruit your pelvic floor for each squat.

I hope this is helpful information and encouraging!  Please check my schedule as I offer group prenatal classes on an ongoing basis. And, contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to drop-in or sign up for a series class wendy@mamalates.com 503-459-8936.
Work with a professional to learn proper alignment to get the most out of your fitness program. If you are unsure about any exercise or feel some positions are unsafe, they probably are. Please visit www.mamalates.com for more birth recovery information including VIDEOS, more exercises, upcoming workshops and products.
Through the month of July, mamalates is offering 15% off products online.
Enter code: ZSNL15
Private sessions, workshops for mom’s groups also available.

Head Shot2 | Xenana Spa | Portland Oregon

Wendy Foster


Wendy Foster is an internationally certified Pilates instructor and pre/post Pilates specialist.
She has had both a cesarean and vaginal birth +abdominal separation. She has been teaching Pilates since 1999 and is the founder/creator of mamalates.


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