For some pregnant women expecting a baby can be the perfect excuse to put their feet up and relax or even spend nine months eating for two before their bundle of joy arrives.
But increasing numbers of mums-to-be are choosing to carry on with their exercise regimes to help them relax and physically prepare for the birth.
Sue Kennedy, personal trainer at Fitness Experience in Burnley, said there can be many health benefits for women who exercise in pregnancy. She is launching antenatal and postnatal pilates-based exercise classes for those women who want to continue to keep fit before their baby is born and afterwards.
“It’s quite exciting because a lot of our clients don’t know what to do about their exercise regime when they find out they are pregnant,” she said.
“If you’ve already been exercising then it’s fine as long as there are no complications and you listen to your body, drink plenty of water and don’t let yourself get overheated.
“Keep cool and if you feel you need to stop, you should.”
Sue, a mum-of-three and grandmother, said exercising while pregnant can also help women through the physical demands of labour.
“It’s really beneficial to keep a strong core and pelvic floor when you are pregnant. It’s important for delivery that you are well toned and more beneficial if you are exercising and keeping your pelvic floor strong during labour. It also helps you get back into shape after you’ve had your baby.”
Sue said after the birth exercise can help with tightening pelvic floor muscles and general muscle toning while it can also help new mums regain their figure faster.
The personal trainer said nutrition and eating the right things was just as important.
“Pregnant women and new mums need to drink plenty of water and eat really good fresh food with lots of fruit and vegetables so they can be in the best possible shape they can be.”
The classes, which will start later this month, will be pilates based and will include relaxation, meditation and breathing exercises.