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Pre & Post Natal Fitness for New Mums

Although pregnancy can be one of the most joyous and exciting times in a woman’s life, the immense physical and emotional changes that come with childbirth and motherhood can leave you feeling exhausted, drained and generally out of sorts.

pre and post natal fitness


I always hear the word post natal far more often than pre natal!? In my opinion pre is more important than post! Imagine you entered an iron man and did no training for it.

It would be the most brutal thing you’ve ever done and you’d break most of your body in the process. Then after the event you try to fix all the things that you broke trying to complete it!?

Pregnancy for most women will be the most physically demanding event in their lifetime. Put the work in pre pregnancy and get yourself fit, strong and mobile and I guarantee that post natal will be far easier and you’ll get back to full fitness far quicker.

I have coached women through 20+ pregnancies and the women that I have pre pregnancy on average are in a much better place than the ones I see only for post natal. There is some research that shows elite female athletes on average have better pregnancies and recover quicker than the general public. This is due to they’re ability to handle trauma and recover quicker post event.

On top of this never never underestimate the power of exercise when it comes to mental health!

The Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology lists a host of benefits for mother and baby to be gained from exercise during pregnancy and after childbirth:

  • Maintenance of cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone and flexibility
  • Maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved co-ordination and body awareness
  • Preparation for labour and assistance in post natal recovery

Further studies show additional benefits such as:

During pregnancy:
Reduced swelling, reduction in muscle discomfort and leg cramps, less risk of lower back pain, easier, shorter and less painful labours, eased gastrointestinal discomfort and a happier self image.

Post Natal:
Quicker recovery, speedier pelvic floor repair and toning, improved posture and stamina, increased energy and metabolic rate and an increase in weight loss leading to improved body image and self-confidence.

From the baby’s point of view, studies have also shown a number of benefits from mother’s exercise during pregnancy including a better tolerance of later pregnancy and labour.

If you need any help in relation to this topic then get in touch.

Seán – you can see my full profile here