CROSSFIT AND PREGNANCY
With more than a dozen pregnancies at CrossFit Ignis over the years, we are no stranger to helping soon to be moms maintain a safe and regular fitness routine. We’ve also learned a thing or two about helping get those post-partum bodies back to normal! So, if you are currently active with an exercise routine and are thinking of becoming pregnant or are pregnant (Congrats!), then this will be a great resource for you! This blog post contains basic information about CrossFit and pregnancy, and how maintaining your current exercise regimen can be beneficial for your pregnancy. So relax, stay active, plan on turning it down a notch or two, and involve your OB and your coaches. But most of all, use common sense.
Information provided by Kevin Crosslin, MD
OBGYN & fellow CrossFitter
An uncomplicated pregnancy is a normal and healthy human condition. It is not a disease or disability. As such, women who exercise regularly and become pregnant are usually encouraged to continue, as long as their pregnancy progresses normally and their previous pregnancies (if any) were uncomplicated. There are of course general guidelines to be considered (more on these in a moment) and of course discussing your fitness program with your obstetrician is highly recommended.
Women of all levels of fitness become pregnant and as a general rule, a woman
without health issues can continue at her current level of training within reason. Some
exercises will obviously need to be modified to adapt to your changing body and attention to form becomes very important to avoid certain injuries like back strain to which pregnant woman are prone. Use common sense and good judgment and don’t over exert. The goal is to try to MAINTAIN, not to improve or advance. Plan on setting no personal bests during your gestation. Plenty of time for that after delivery.
Why continue exercising?
It has been proven repeatedly that woman who remain active during pregnancy report easier deliveries and recoveries than women who were sedentary. Are their deliveries actually easier, or do they just perceive them to be easier? I certainly believe both to be true.
However, there may be times during a pregnancy when activity must be curtailed; things like preterm labor or pregnancy induced high blood pressure. Exercise does not cause these things but if you happen to develop one of these conditions, you will likely be asked by your doctor to cease any significant exercise activity.
Some general guidelines (in no particular order):
• After 20 weeks of gestation you should avoid lying flat on your back on a hard
surface (such as a bench or floor). Floor exercises can still be done but make sure to
tuck a pad (abmat or rolled up towel) under one hip (usually the right) so that you are not flat.
• Strict attention to proper breathing. We don’t want you holding your breath.
• Make sure you eat something before exercising even if you are queasy as baby
needs your blood sugar as well as you do.
• If you begin to feel odd (light headed, dizzy)- stop what you are doing and sit down. Sip some sugar (sports drink, ginger ale, sprite).
• WE DO NOT RECOMMEND INITIATING a fitness program during pregnancy other than walking, stretching, very light weights (i.e. low impact activity). Your goal is to try to maintain what you can.
• As a rule, 30 pounds is the generally accepted limit for lifting, pushing, or pulling in pregnancy. But there is not a lot of science behind this and everyone is different. These recommendations actually were not developed with athletes in mind, but employees (presumed sedentary) who have to engage in these activities at work.
• Use common sense. If you have reservations ask your coaches, your obstetrician or preferably both. Still concerned? Sit that one out.
• By the way, exercise does not cause miscarriages. Famous World Class Endurance athletes have carried healthy pregnancies while staying active (although taking a break from competition).
So there you have it! A great starting point for helping you to stay fit throughout your pregnancy and ready for delivery!
Stay strong, mommas!