Post Pregnancy Fitness -- with Lyn Leddy
WebMD Live Events Transcript; Event Date: Thursday, July 1, 2004
Walking will help you increase your energy and stamina, combat depression,
and prepare your body for the rigors of labor, as well as help heal your body
faster after delivering.
MODERATOR: Do you recommend a specific pregnancy yoga class, or will
most yoga instructors know how to help with a pregnant practitioner?
LEDDY: If you can find a prenatal yoga class, that's wonderful. If
you can't, then ask the yoga instructor about his or her credentials and how
familiar they are with pregnant women performing yoga. Ask them how they would
treat and modify yoga routines for pregnant women. For example, one key is you
should never lie on your back for a long period of time after the second
trimester. This reduces blood flow to the mother and baby. Educate yourself on
safe exercise for pregnant women so that you can also be an advocate for
MEMBER QUESTION: I had a C-section and am worried about my stomach
muscles. Are they permanently damaged from the C-section? Can I do sit-ups and
other abdominal exercises without hurting myself? Will they do any good if I
LEDDY: No, your muscles aren't permanently damaged. You can train
them to be stronger and well toned after cesarean sections. For instance, I
worked with a woman throughout her pregnancy who delivered for the second time
by C-section. Upon delivering in the hospital, she was able to lift her torso
off the bed so the nurses could change the sheets. The nurses were very
impressed by her ability to do this. They asked if she exercised throughout her
pregnancy and she said yes. She was also able to twist in her bed to pick up
her infant lying next to her, which she was unable to do with her first
MEMBER QUESTION: I'm going to be a single parent and I also work 48
hours a week, what can I do to relax?
LEDDY: One thing you can try is during work seeing if you can take
three 10-minute walks sometime throughout the day. For example, as soon as you
get to work, take a walk around your building, if that's possible, for 10
minutes. Then at lunchtime, after eating or before eating, take another
10-minute walk. Before leaving for the day, take another 10-minute walk.
The U.S. Surgeon General reports that accumulated exercise totaling at least
30 minutes each day improves a person's overall health. This means reducing
stress, managing weight, preventing disease, and giving a person an overall
sense of well-being.
Try this for up to six months. After six months you'll need to be creative
with other ways to get exercise into your schedule, because your body will have
become accustomed to this exercise regimen, and it will need to be challenged
in order to continue reaping overall benefits from exercise.