Preparing to welcome a new baby into your family is an exciting time of waiting and wondering. Not knowing who the little life growing inside you will become is part of the miracle of new life. However, for many women pregnancy also means accepting a changing body, developing an understanding of what that body is capable of. Ultimately, it’s capable of a whole lot, including bringing a baby into the world.
Staying fit during your pregnancy is safe and beneficial for both mom and baby. Controlling weight gain and maintaining critical muscle tone and strength will not only help with the birth process, but speed healing and a return to “your old self” once the baby is born. But knowing what you can and can’t do and how to modify your routines is key.
Amanda Price-Salazar is no stranger to understanding fitness during pregnancy. The 36-year-old owner and lead personal trainer at Edge Fitness in Tumwater is also a new mom to baby Mia, born in February 2015. In addition to her real-world experience as a new mom, Price-Salazar is also certified in pre- and post-pregnancy training and nutrition. She has helped countless women navigate their fitness goals throughout their pregnancys safely and effectively, seeing them through birth and back to their pre-baby bodies after.
“It’s so important to take care of your health before you get pregnant, and then to maintain an active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy,” explains Price-Salazar. “If you are fit during pregnancy, when you have your baby, you are more likely to have a healthy labor and birth and are then physically prepared to give back to your baby.”
When a current Edge Fitness client lets Price-Salazar know she’s pregnant, the two of them sit down together and review guidelines for continued training and Boot Camp classes. She provides a comprehensive packet of information including nutrition guidelines, heart-rate monitor suggestions based on a client’s doctor’s recommendation, exercises for at home and more. Very few modifications are needed in the gym initially, but as the pregnancy progresses, workout changes are necessary.
“I make sure I check in with a pregnant client after each visit with their OBGYN and see if there are any changes in their care and health,” Price-Salazar says. And based on her education and experience, she helps women know when to start modifying activities during boot camps and training sessions. For example, when it’s no longer safe to lay on your back for abdominal exercises, Price-Salazar offers a variety of modifications to keep abs as part of the routine. “You can use a stability ball to sit on and do crunches, you can do planks, you can do ‘lean and holds’ on the ball. There are lots of ways to still work your core all throughout your pregnancy and be safe for the baby.”
Along with training, Edge Fitness provides customized nutrition programs tailored for pregnancy to help women avoid the over-indulgence that is so easy to justify when “eating for two” as well as keeping changing hormones under control. Nutrition guidance can be critical both during and after pregnancy as so many different and new demands are made on a mother’s body. “I stress that during pregnancy and especially during the first year as a new mom, that eating every three hours is just as important for mom as baby. If you don’t put good nutrition into your body, you’ll end up exhausted and unhealthy and not as good a mom to your baby.”
One tip she gives new moms is prepping food ahead of time so when hunger strikes you don’t reach for the bag of chips out of convenience. Price-Salazar knows first hand that schedules can go out the window in the first months of parenting, but reminds new moms that skipping meals or binging after a day of “no time to eat” is a recipe for hormone fluctuation and weight gain.
Pregnancy is a nine-month journey. Don’t expect the journey back to pre-baby fitness to just be a few weeks. “You can’t do everything just on day one back in the gym. It’s not realistic or safe,” explains Price-Salazar. Instead, she helps clients take steps towards regaining not only physical health, but a positive body image, on an achievable timeline. “Often I help coach clients not only on their fitness but with their body image and helping them feel like themselves again, to feel pretty again,” she shares.
It’s a family-friendly atmosphere at Edge, with babies and kids welcome during classes and sessions. Salazar-Price tries hard to remove barriers to getting back in the gym and a solid fitness routine. And no matter when that return might be – after 6 weeks, 6 months, or several years – Price-Salazar is ready to help.
“A lot of women come to me long after their children are born, maybe three or four years after, and they just couldn’t make the time for themselves in those first years,” shares Price-Salazar. But no matter when you take that step into Edge Fitness, Amanda Price-Salazar will be ready.
“So many women tell themsleves it’s not possible, that they can’t do it. I know they can and I can show them how.”
To learn more about fitness before, during and after pregnancy, visit Edge Fitness online or call 360-790-6767.