So, today I thought I’d answer a question I’m asked quite frequently from pregnant women which is “When should I tell my Fitness Instructor I’m pregnant?”. If you’re trying for a baby or you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, it’s inevitable that if you’re attending a mainstream exercise class, seeing a personal trainer, or are a regular gym user, you’ll have to tell someone, somewhere that you’re pregnant.
To be honest, I’m always cautious when it comes to exercising pregnant women, and a pregnant women is pregnant from 0 weeks, right up to 40 weeks, and we can never be too careful when it comes to exercise.
Every pregnant is different, and the symptoms that go along with pregnancy are therefore very individual too. Some women have an inkling, or a feeling that they’ve become pregnant from almost the moment of conception, and others plod along without any symptoms, for weeks and weeks and weeks, and it’s only when a missed period or two occurs, that they actually have things confirmed via a pregnancy test.
For some pregnant women, exercising during their first trimester (0-12 weeks) will be a real struggle, simply because fatigue hits them very quickly, and all they really want to do after a long day at the office is go home and collapse on the sofa. For the other group of expectant women who don’t feel any pregnancy symptoms at all, they are generally fine to continue doing whatever it is they’ve been doing exercise-wise, and start to make changes to their fitness regime from around 13 weeks onwards.
If you’ve found out that you’re pregnant, it’s usually confirmed after a positive pregnancy test at anywhere from 5 weeks onwards. My suggestion would be to tell your Instructor regardless of how pregnant you are, because he/she does need to know, and needs to make modifications to meet your needs accordingly. As I say, it’s never too early to let them know, regardless of how you’re feeling.
In general terms, if you’re experiencing a low-risk pregnancy, there aren’t many modifications to your exercise program that are necessary to be made during the first 12 weeks, but there are a few things to consider as a result of your pregnancy generally, and how it affects you in an exercise setting eg dehydration, joint laxity, morning sickness, breast tenderness, fatigue etc.
So, to give you an example, if a client who attends one of my general/mainstream fitness or Pilates classes comes to me and tells me her news, after congratulating her obviously(!), I then tend to ask: “Have you seen your Doctor yet?”, and if the answer is: “Yes”, then I ask “What did they tell you to do, exercise-wise”, and go from there.
Your Doctor will generally advise you at your first appointment if you’re at any risk at all, and will discuss issues surrounding exercise for right now too. If you have any pre-existing health conditions and/or any there’s anything in your family healthy history that is of concern, your Doctor will advise you on this there and then.
If you generally feel ok, and you’ve been given your Doctor’s blessing, then carry on as normal, but I’d still mention your pregnancy to any fitness-related professionals that you come into contact with, just to be on the safe side.
If you’d like to know more specifically what you should and shouldn’t be doing during your first trimester, take a look at this article here: https://clairemockridge.com/2012/09/top-5-tips-exercising-first-trimester/