My prenatal fitness experience

Doing some rows at about 36 weeks.

The back story: I used to work at 1st and Folsom streets.  I used to cut down an alley to get from Market Street to Mission and would walk by The Lotus Method every day.  Being a curious person, I Googled it to find out what The Lotus Method was.  I discovered that it was fitness for “future, expecting, and new mothers”, decided that it was probably one of those San Francisco boutique-y things that is kind of silly, and wrote it off.

Fast forward a year and a half:  I was at the end of my first trimester and realized that I wouldn’t be able to run for much longer*.  I looked into prenatal fitness classes, as I wanted something that would be safe to do while pregnant.  I found plenty of prenatal yoga classes (I recommend Satori Yoga or Yoga Tree for this), but nothing that seemed like it would help me to stay in shape.  Then I remembered the place I used to walk by and scheduled an assessment to learn more.  I found that while TLM is a little pricey, it’s within the norm of what one would pay any personal trainer and that all of their trainers have experience working with pre- and post-natal clients and tailor workouts accordingly.  There are also weekly classes, which can cut down the cost per workout.  I signed up!

From March until July (when Baby S was born) I had a training session with Emily and joined a group fitness class every week.  The group classes were great for both getting and staying in shape and meeting other women who were on their own motherhood journey, and the personal training sessions were helpful for strengthening my own weaker areas and focusing on what I could do to make my pregnancy more physically comfortable.  The overall focus was on functional movements, posture, and breathing to support the pelvic floor, which takes a beating during pregnancy and childbirth.

Working on posture was extremely helpful for me; I work as a software engineer, so spent much of the day hunched toward my computer.  My workouts helped to undo some of the hunching, taught me what a “neutral spine” is by improving my perception of where my body is in space, and prevented my growing belly from making my sitting and standing posture much worse.  The functional movements came in handy after the birth- getting up from the floor while holding a 10 lb baby and proper lifting techniques prevented me from further injuring myself 🙂

I’ll admit that I was pretty lucky overall; I didn’t have much in the way of nausea, and I was pretty active until the end of my pregnancy (I did a 5+ mile hike at ~ 38 weeks).  I felt physically stronger at the end of my pregnancy than earlier, which I hadn’t expected.

If you have the chance to exercise with a pre/ post natal trainer, I highly recommend it.  If you’re in SF, The Lotus Method is wonderful.  What are your experiences with pre- and post-natal exercise?

*Some people can run much longer (2nd trimester or even until they deliver) but I was not one of them.  I stopped when things started feeling twingey.  I was able to do Zumba until about 6 months because I could modify it to decrease the impact.


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