Prenatal exercise is extraordinary because the benefits of exercise reach beyond just mom. Studies show that physically active moms-to-be give babies a head start on heart health. Exercising during pregnancy might be the earliest intervention strategy available to you for improving your child’s heart health after birth.
The benefits of prenatal exercise was topic of conversation during AMC’s training session last week. One of our moms reported that she had a non-stress test earlier in the day because she is 37 weeks and 40+ years old. The nurse was impressed that in just 10 minutes the baby had already show more than enough “exemplary cardiac recoveries” to pass the test! It was one of the fastest tests completed in her experience and shows signs of a strong fetal heart. The nurse asked if she was big on exercise because she usually sees that kind of test result with moms who work out consistently during pregnancy.
Aimee has been training twice a week with AMC since she was 8 weeks pregnant with her fourth child. Yes, fourth. Having had an abdominal wall separation after her previous pregnancies—and knowing the challenges of getting back into shape post-baby—she was anxious to begin a structured prenatal fitness routine that would address her specific needs. (For the record Aimee didn’t workout with AMC for her other pregnancies because she lived in NY for the first two and hadn’t discovered AMC until after birth of #3 in Chicago.)
I have nothing but respect for how Aimee manages to juggle a full-time job, be a super mom, move their home after Christmas, AND make her workouts a priority! Occasionally, during the summer, she would bring her kids to training so as not to have to miss a workout. What a great way to lead by example. Her little ones often exercised beside her, and the other moms-to-be in training looked up to her with great admiration.
AIMEE’S JOURNEY WITH BABY #4
Aimee’s first three children were born at 38 weeks; she was convinced #4 would arrive in the same timely fashion. She was right! Last Saturday Aimee arrived to training and gave her best effort carrying a full-term baby at 37 weeks and 6 days. This is what transpired after Saturday’s training session:
Below is the email she sent on Monday (remember, she gave birth less than 48 hours when she wrote this!):
Hi, ladies! I went into labor Saturday right after class. Walked to my mother-in-laws house, took a shower, ate breakfast and then boom, it all started. Yay for that morning’s class which clearly got things moving.
I thought of our (training) sessions many times during labor:
1. Pushing – I literally felt like I was just sitting on the exercise ball doing belly breaths. At least it felt like I was engaging all the same core muscles. 33 total pushes. My back/neck/shoulders are sore but nothing else – yay for core training! The doctor/nurse kept asking me about my pain level 1-10 and I kept saying 0. My back hurt because of my chronic back issues and my epidural, but I didn’t have much abdominal/pelvic floor pain at all. I kept thinking it would eventually come on but it never really did. I really think my body was ready for the labor/delivery experience.
2. At one point after my epidural, my blood pressure dropped a bit and baby’s heart rate slowed, which can be concerning but I was so calm because I knew there was not much more we could all be doing to keep our babies’ hearts developing strong. And sure enough baby recovered great.
3. I overheard a nurse in my L&D room say “forceps” during pushing. I jumped up and said, “did I just hear someone say ‘forceps’”? And the nurse said, I was on the phone with another nurse – not for you, not for you. Phew! But I was ready, Cassandra, to shut that down based on your insights Saturday!
4. Recovery in general – even though I’m 40 years old now compared to being 30 with my first born, I was up and about after delivery like a champ, moving around, feeling self sufficient – totally different than my past hospital experiences post-birth. I again was feeling thankful for Active Moms’ Club every time I remembered how much harder even immediate/early recovery was in the past.
On a lighter note, 7 lbs to be exact, below is our new little munchkin. Thanks, Coach C for all the guidance and great training and thanks ladies for the support and friendship – it was so wonderful to train with you all!”
Welcome to the world baby Nolan. You’re one lucky, and very cute boy!
Chicago mamas, if you’re pregnant with your first or your fourth baby, let Active Moms’ Club help guide you safely and effectively through a prenatal fitness program so you too can ‘deliver like a champ’ and have a speedy post-birth recovery. No previous exercise experience is required to get started. Giving birth is one of the hardest feats you may ever do, start your training early to prepare. Go to our website to learn more and to register for a test-drive session.
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