Why Pre and Post Natal Exercise Is Good For You With Xtend Barre

Trying to stay in shape while pregnant or trying to get back your pre-baby body for summer? Aren't we all... Both pre & post natal exercising can be a little scary, especially with the media constantly changing its mind on whether or not anything abdominal is going to force you to give birth early or tear you back open after birth. Amanda from Xtend Barre has been working with women from pregnancy day one to months after delivering a human, to help women stay healthy and feel confident. As a professional dancer, specialising in ballet, pilates teacher and athlete, Amanda has brought her knowledge to expectant and new mums. She gives us an insight into why it's actually beneficial to work out pre & post natal, and how listening to your body is the most important part of fitness. 

Xtend Barre teacher AmandaWhat first inspired you to start helping both pregnant women and new mums to get fit and healthy?

My first taste of Pre & Post Natal exercise was when I began my Pilates teacher training six years ago. What then really sparked my inspiration for helping Pre & Post Natal women was when i first started teaching Xtend Barre. A few of my clients became pregnant and they didn't want to stop coming to class and the thing is, they didn't need to stop. The wonderful thing about Xtend is that Pre Natal clients can do this workout the whole way through their pregnancy without feeling limited or unsafe. When Xtend Barre presented the Babies on Board course I jumped at the chance, I feel so lucky to play a part in supporting these women through their exciting journey. 

How important is general fitness and looking after yourself during pregnancy and after pregnancy?

The body is going through many changes during and after pregnancy, so it is a vital time to look after yourself and your general fitness. Exercise has valuable benefits for you and your baby; helping to increase circulation, energy & mood, it can also help reduce some common discomforts of pregnancy. Understanding the role of the Abdominals during pregnancy and how to maintain their integrity is an essential part of the woman's fitness.

Mums doing exercise in a studio with babiesWhat role does nutrition play when it comes to exercising and making sure you and the growing baby is healthy?

Exercise burns calories, so you need to be sure to eat well to nourish and strengthen your body to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate and during exercise you could end up with low blood sugar that makes you feel dizzy and faint. This means you may need to pay extra attention to your fueling plan, making sure you stay hydrated, have a snack handy if needed and most importantly listen to you body.

What problems do pregnant women encounter when it comes to fitness and how can they be overcome?

Many women are hesitant to engage in physical activity whilst they are pregnant, it has been found that not only is exercise during pregnancy safe but it is beneficial for both the mother and for her baby. I believe the concern is there is a lot of Pre Natal exercise programs out there seeking to strengthen rather than create a suppleness in both the abdominals and pelvic floor. The most important focus is listening to your body in terms of effort levels, temperature and other warning signs which is a very good gauge for determining what is safe. 

Mother with her baby doing yoga stretching Do you find that pregnant women worry more about exercising than women after birth?

From my experience of teaching both pre &post natal women, pregnant women do tend to worry more about exercising and what is safe for them and their baby. During my Babies on Board classes the atmosphere is a little more relaxed... Maybe that is partially due to a lack of sleep and the fact that they actually made it out of the house for the day. 


Head over to Xtend Barre to find out more about the classes they offer and how you can get involved for a healthier lifestyle!

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