One of the trends we are hearing more about is women working to lose weight BEFORE they get pregnant. I was at a BBQ this weekend with a group of women who think they will start trying to get pregnant in the next year or so, and they were discussing different approaches. Some women thought it was useless to lose the weight if you were going to gain it back when pregnant, but others thought starting at a healthier weight was smarter. A different group of women, all heavy exercisers, were discussing cutting back on exercise (or not) in conjunction with trying to get pregnant.

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t stay silent. There is a lot of new research around what I call pre-prenatal fitness, and the results are really instructive.

The first study makes it clear that if a woman is obese, she should try to get to a healthy BMI BEFORE getting pregnant.

The second study indicates that over exercising can hinder a woman from getting pregnant, UNLESS she’s overweight to begin with.

So, what’s the takeaway?? If you are overweight, a good, vigorous exercise program is not just a good idea, it’s a really important step to keeping your baby healthy and growing during pregnancy. And secondly, if you are at a healthy weight (BMI under 21) and exercising- switch from vigorous to moderate exercise if you are trying to get pregnant. To put it simply? If your trying to get pregnant and you are heavy, exercise heavy. If you are trying to get pregnant and are a healthy weight, exercise moderately.

Just a reminder for those who are already pregnant– if you exercised before you got pregnant, you can keep exercising at that level. And if you are pregnant and haven’t been exercising, you can start now with your doctor’s okay.

What do you think? Did you change how you exercised when you were trying to get pregnant?

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3 thoughts on “Pre- Prenatal Fitness?

  • May 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Here are the easy to remember Pre-Pregnancy ABC’s that I share with my moms:

    Achieve a healthy pre-pregnancy weight
    Build your nutrient stores
    Create a healthy lifestyle

    Certified Perinatal Exercise Specialist

  • May 31, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    This is great advice and I am glad there’s a growing emphasis on health before pregnancy, as opposed to making it about “losing the baby weight.”

    One thing I noticed: the range of “healthy” BMIs tops out at 24.9, not 21.

  • November 24, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Basically had to stress I am thrilled that i
    stumbled in your web site.


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