Melinda Nicci is the founder of Baby2Body, a digital content platform and app for new and expectant mums, providing daily curated content across 4 core sections: Fitness, Nutrition, Beauty and Wellbeing. Melinda is a qualified sports psychologist, fitness trainer, consultant in health technology and mum of 2. She is passionate about the intersection of health, psychology and technology and saw an opportunity to work with expectant mums and new mums on their health and fitness, she says “keeping fit during pregnancy and beyond is extremely important for our physical and mental well-being and I wanted to help women look and feel their best every day”.
The Baby2Body team believe health begins with the mother, so alongside personalised daily tips delivered straight to your phone, they provide healthy recipes, updates on the baby’s growth, meditation podcasts and fitness videos as well as answering questions across a wide cross section of topics from sex in pregnancy, to managing stress and staying in shape.
Melinda says “our mission is to become the go to destination for women wanting to maintain their health, fitness and confidence, through pregnancy and beyond, thus promoting a generation of healthier children – we know modern mums are constantly on the go, so we wanted to help women do motherhood their way and look and feel great whilst doing it! “
Here, Melinda runs down the basic do’s and don’ts for exercise in pregnancy.
Do: Proper warm ups and cool downs! Spend at least 5 minutes to help your heart rate gradually come up and down and get your muscles and joints loose.
Don’t: Overstretch – the pregnancy hormone relaxin makes you feel more supple than you are, so keep stretches to 90% capacity to avoid injury
Do: Keep up with exercises that you love! Most workouts can be modified for prenatal needs, and the most important thing is that you enjoy exercise, because that’s when you’ll be motivated to stick with it.
Don’t: Twist or rotate your abdomen in jerky, bouncy movements or engage in high-impact sports and activities
Do: Make water your #1 exercise companion. Drink a full glass before your warm up, a full glass during exercise, and a full glass after your cool down.
Don’t: Participate in workouts that require a lot of balance, as your centre of gravity changes as your bump grows.
Do: Build strength with body resistance and light weight training, making sure you do them with good form. Good core, leg, and glute strength will help so much during pregnancy, birth, and as a new mom.
Don’t: Lift weights that are too heavy, do extensive overhead arm exercises, or do exercises that require you to lie on your back for an extended time
Do: Use the talking test. You should be able to maintain a conversation while exercising to ensure you don’t overexert yourself.
Don’t: Exercise to exhaustion or to a point where you feel faint or lightheaded. Pregnancy hormones make you fatigued as is, so keep physical activity in a good range by using the talking test (see above tip!)
We advise you to consult your doctor prior to taking up an exercise routine during pregnancy.