A perinatal fitness instructor is a trained professional who helps women on their fitness journey who are pregnant or postpartum.
Being fit feels great, but getting there is a journey. We’ve all felt the fiery burn and labored breathing as we work muscles that aren’t used to being pushed. Finding the motivation to get fit while pregnant or postpartum is tough—not only is your energy level lower, there seems to be a list a mile long of other things you could be doing to prepare for or take care of your babe. But, getting into or staying in shape is incredibly helpful for delivery and postpartum healing. That’s why we’re such big fans of perinatal fitness instructors. Read on to learn more!
Many studies show the benefits of exercising while pregnant. According to this 2015 study, “Benefits of exercise in pregnancy include reduction in Cesarean section rates, appropriate maternal and fetal weight gain, and managing gestational diabetes.”
A perinatal fitness instructor assesses your current fitness level and goals. If you have a personal trainer, they’ll create a plan to help you meet your goals—if they’re realistic and healthy. Each exercise is customized to you and your body and is safe to engage in during pregnancy.
If you connect with a group perinatal fitness instructor, you’ll still get a hands-on approach—you’ll just need to be a bit more vocal about asking for modifications if something doesn’t feel right or you don’t feel comfortable doing a certain move.
Throughout your time together, your perinatal fitness instructor will evaluate your progress, how your body is responding to the exercises, and adjust your program if pain or discomfort arises. The further you get into pregnancy, the more you’ll want to tweak the program to accommodate your beautiful growing bump!
Once you’ve given birth to your little bundle, you may start to feel the desire to become active again. Before you hit the gym, be sure to get clearance from your doctor. The average clearance is given at six weeks postpartum for a vaginal birth and six to eight weeks postpartum for a c-section.
A perinatal fitness instructor can be a huge help postpartum as many new mamas don’t know where to start—Do I jump into your old routines or build back up? When can I run again? Can I do abs? Trained in caring for women’s postpartum bodies, which include a weakened deep core and pelvic floor, your perinatal fitness instructor will help you work through these questions and build your fitness routine up slowly. Ramping up too quickly can delay healing—and the lack of sleep doesn’t help either!
Personal training and fitness instructor certification is not regulated. Therefore, we advise finding an instructor that you feel comfortable with!
Take a look at our providers’ websites and Instagrams; there are a variety of philosophies and approaches they take in their style of exercise and training. For example, some emphasize weight training while others employ low impact moves. Choose the one that you resonate most and reach out. They’ll be thrilled to hear from you!
Yes! There are many studies that support this. One study performed in Spain found that “a supervised physical exercise program throughout pregnancy decreased the duration in total labor time.”
Great question! Many instructors offer virtual classes and training—they understand what being a mama is like. When you find an instructor that interests you, ask if this is a possibility.
We recommend consulting your healthcare provider or fitness instructor to walk through any specific exercise questions.
The cost of a perinatal fitness instructor varies, particularly if you’re seeing a personal trainer or a group instructor. Group classes typically start around $15 per class while a personal perinatal fitness instructor may charge by package.