Pregnancy: It seems to me that society treats this as such a delicate time. But, really, does it have to be like that?
What I'm referring to mostly is weight lifting exercise, and what pregnant women can and can not do to help them have a healthier and happier pregnancy and delivery.
When I did a Google image search for pregnancy and exercise (or weight lifting), all I saw were pictures of very pregnant women doing yoga or ball exercises. The only weight lifting picture I could find was the one you see above. And, I wouldn't even really consider that weight lifting (I think the last time I did a lateral shoulder raise I was 16 years old and a newbie). No squatting, no pushups, no chipups, nada.
But, what I really want to know, and what I need help from YOU (the female "you", that is), is how and can a pregnant woman lift during her pregnancy?
Obviously, in the first 3-4 months, almost anything that you can tolerate should be do-able (when there's not any nausea or uncontrollable fatigue). Then after the belly starts to bulge, any supine (lying on back) positions, should be avoided due to the potential to restrict blood flow through the vena cava.
The American College of Ob/Gyn has a one-sentence line about strength training:
"Strength training will make your muscles stronger and may help prevent some of the aches and pains common in pregnancy. "
But, other than this, it's really a grey (or gray) area as far as weight lifting and pregnancy goes.
So, I'm doing as much research as I can here, scanning the peer-reviewed literature, and reading text books. But as I said, I need some help from real women who have lifted during their pregnancies:
What did you and could you do for weight lifting during your pregnancy?
Did you stop and just walk or doing light aerobics?
Did you keep doing what you were doing prior, but with some modifications (and what were they)?
Did you train harder? Did you try a new training program (And which one)? Etc.
I'd love to hear what you ladies out there did. One of my readers told me she was doing pull-ups the day before she delivered (wicked!) and another said she road her bike 10 miles a few days prior to delivery (and she was 2 weeks late, so she was quite big at this pt).
You can post your reply here, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I promise that your thoughts and comments will be kept private if that's what you'd like. Also, this information might end up as an article in the next issue of Muscle and Fitness Hers and Fit Pregnancy.
Cheers to a healthy and strong pregnancy!