The female body is amazing. Women's bodies undergo so many changes during pregnancy, and there is lots to learn about what to do, what to avoid and what to seek help for when it comes to exercise during pregnancy and easing back into fitness after the birth of a child.
While we know there are a number of absolute and relative contraindications to exercise during pregnancy, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada have stated in the guidelines for "Exercise in Pregnancy and the Post-Partum Period" that there is a risk inherent in not exercising during pregnancy. The guidelines read:
"Women and their care providers should consider the risks of not participating in exercise activities during pregnancy, including loss of muscular and cardiovascular fitness, excessive maternal weight gain, higher risk of gestational diabetes or preg-nancy-induced hypertension, development of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, a higher incidence of physical complaints such as dyspnea or low back pain, and poor psychological adjustment to the physical changes of pregnancy."
There are therefore a number of reasons why women should continue to exercise during pregnancy (as long as they exercise within these guidelines), have approval from their Health Care Provider and are not experiencing any absolute contraindications to exercise.
After completing a Pre and Post-Natal Fitness Specialist Certification, I thought it might be useful to put together a list of a few readings and health resources for new Mums and Mums-to-be in North Vancouver.
Recommended Readings during pregnancy:
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
The Thinking Women's Guide to Better Birth, by Henci Goer
Pregnancy, Child Birth and the Newborn, by Penny Simkin
The Province of BC also publishes this free online book to prepare for pregnancy and child birth:
Baby's Best Chance: Parent's Handbook of Pregnancy and Baby Care
Health Care Providers specializing in pre and post-natal health care:
Naturopath & Doula: Dr. Emily Habert
Registered Massage Therapy: Ocean Wellness
Shiatsu Massage: Soothing Hands Shiatsu
Jane Williams, 19th st Physiotherapy Clinic
Cheryl Leia, pelvic health therapist
Accupuncture: Natalie Yu
Chiropractor: Bo Gregson, Lonsdale Wellness Clinic
Pre & Post-Natal prep and support:
Birth Preparation classes: Preparing for Parenting Prenatal Education
Post Partum Support: Newborn Hotline 604-737-3737
Pacific Post Partum Society: 604-255-7999
(support for post-partum depression and anxiety)
Pre and Post-Natal Fitness classes: Fit 4 Two North Shore Schedule
Discounts for Moms on local businesses: Healthy Moms Vancouver
Family Support Services referral line: 604-987-1411
(Confidential for North Shore families experiencing difficulties with marital breakdown, family conflict or otherstresses)
Parent-Child Mother Goose Program
Family Services of the North Shore
BC Healthy Kids Program
Social Networks on Facebook:
North Shore Moms
North Vancouver Hiking Moms
Baby & Me Hiking
North Vancouver Moms Shop & Swap
Strong Start for pre-school aged children
North Vancouver City Library programs and events
NVRC Early Years
If you are interested in learning more about pre and post-natal fitness and personal training, please feel free to call, text or email me using the contact information in the footer below.
If you are a new Mum with a pre-mobile baby, you can also come try my following Fit 4 Two classes:
Mum and Baby Fitness
West Van Rec Centre
Monday from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Mum and Baby Spin and Strength
Delbrook Community Centre, North Vancouver
Tuesdays from 1:15 pm - 2:15pm
Nikki Johnston Beaudoin is an outdoorsy Mountain Mermaid, and the Founder of Sea to Sky Fitness.