Fitness Plan for High Risk Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Fitness Expert,
My name is Lili and about six years ago you interviewed me for your book, Entering the Mother Zone. I was one of the "less famous" mothers that was working out with Dr. Barbara Bergman in Columbus, OH. I enjoyed your book very much and referred to it often.

I just wanted to give you an update and let you know that after several years collecting dust under a bed, I have finally pulled your book out again for motivation. After the "textbook" pregnancy you wrote about in the book, I had six more pregnancies -- all ending in miscarriage.

After flying all over the US and being diagnosed with multiple problems (and no longer possible for me to have children) we adopted a beautiful baby girl in March of this year! During the last few years, my workout routine was sporadic at best and thanks to all the drugs, my weight increased significantly.

Just before our adoption, I had finally taken off all the weight and was even 20 pounds below my weight published (Argh!!) in your book. My workout routine includes aerobics/step classes and light weights.

About a month after returning home with our daughter, Sophia, the impossible happened. I found out I am pregnant. I am 16 weeks and everything is looking great for this pregnancy! I am trying to keep up with exercise and was wondering if you had any advice/experience/research with high risk mothers?

Thank you again for your book!

ANSWER

Absolutely! First, talk to your doctor regularly. Because you are "high risk" it is always good to let more people know what you are doing and listen to their advice.

That said, you are strong. I remember when you worked with Dr. Bergmann so you know what you are doing. You know how to eat, what to eat and how all this relates to your workouts. This is great because it puts you ahead of the game. Half the time, I am yelling at pregnant women that ketchup doesn't count as a veggie!

The best thing to remember is your baby cannot sweat. Don't let yourself get too hot (see the chapter on Moms in Training), be sure to drink plenty of water and watch your heart rate. You remember that you don't want to reach high levels and stay for a prolonged period of time.

Because you are "high risk" I prefer single workouts. By this I mean, it is sometimes better to work out on the stationary bike, treadmill or Stairmaster rather than joining a group class when looking for a cardio workout simply because of the heat factor. Many women have reported being less aware of their heart and heat condition in a group class as they are swept up in the overall class mood.Please keep me posted on everything and again, congrats! on both fronts -- new baby and new pregnancy! That is just wonderful!

*P.S. For those of you who do not know, Lili is featured in the book Entering the Mother Zone when she actually lost weight while pregnant. By working with a nutritionist, she made herself better and stronger during her pregnancy. Complimentary copies of the book (just pay postage) can be obtained by emailing Pregnancy.org.

-- Alex

Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.

Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!