While it's not always easy, it's important to stay fit before, during and after a pregnancy. That's the message that Sara Holliday, an expert in pre- and post-natal fitness, shares with countless women she has helped as both a certified personal trainer and licensed marriage and family therapist. Bob talks to Sara, who's also an expert in yoga, aerobics and martial arts, about the best ways for moms and dads to have a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Prior to Pregnancy:
Get into the best shape possible before you get pregnant. "A woman should know that if she's fit during her pregnancy, she's going to bounce back so much quicker," Sara says.
Find support from your husband or partner, as well as friends and other expecting moms.
Stay active, but talk to your doctor first. Once you get the thumbs up from your doctor, Sara says to listen to your body. You are going to feel more tired, but you should be able to continue doing the types of exercises you did before your pregnancy. Avoid accident-prone activities like rollerblading.
Be OK with some natural weight gain. "You are growing a being, you need to have weight, you need to nourish your baby inside of you," Sara says.
Stay connected with those you love, and keep your husband involved.
Eat healthy. Sara says this is a good rule of thumb for every stage of a pregnancy.
Know that everybody feels differently after having a baby. "There are so many hormones going through a woman's body, that it's common to experience anything from elation to just totally sad and depressed," Sara says.
Get up and move. "When you exercise, you get natural endorphins, which are positive hormones that lift your mood," she says. Sara recommends stroller workouts or going for walks with your baby held close to your body in a baby carrier. Ask your hospital or look online for exercise classes for new moms.
Continue to find support from your partner, friends and other new moms.
Get involved in your partner's workouts.
Communicate that you care. Ask to touch her belly and go with her to all appointments, Sara says.
Understand that she is going to be irritable, and don't take it personally.