Ask Mary Helen - Working out while Pregnant

Hello Beauties!

 One of our most common FAQs concerns Ballet Beautiful and pregnancy.

“I love Ballet Beautiful and have been doing it for a while. I just found out and I am pregnant and would love to continue. Can I still enjoy my BB workouts during my pregnancy?”

 Mary Helen’s Answer:

The answer to this happy question is YES!

With doctor approval, of course! Pregnancy is such a special time and a wonderful moment to really focus on treating your body and your growing baby with a tremendous amount of love and care. I believe that exercise is a huge part of that process and a wonderful gift that you can give yourself and little one. We feel so fortunate to have so many new moms and moms-to-be as part of the Ballet Beautiful family. As you may or may not know, I am now several months pregnant with my first baby and using a modified version of BB to stay strong and fit during my pregnancy, too. In fact, we have an amazing new series of prenatal content in the works and I can’t wait to share it with all of you inspiring mamas-to-be!

Here’s a quick run down of how to make the most out of Ballet Beautiful for you, and your baby!

While the existing Ballet Beautiful videos were not created for pregnancy, many of our low impact exercises are great for staying strong and fit while pregnant and can really work well with some modification. Some of my personal favorites include:

The Hip & Thigh Blast

The inner and outer thigh exercises, weightless arms and standing cardio workouts from our Total Body DVD.

And of course there are Swan Arms!

Swan Arms and Swan Arms Cardio are terrific options for keeping the arms and upper body toned and strong. They also help strengthen the back and core —  something that I have found both to be great for preventing and alleviating back pain. I’m also thinking postnatal when I work on my upper body. I want to be ready to carry my little baby around in a few short months!

Another thing that is important to keep in mind is that your range of motion and stamina will change with pregnancy. This is a totally normal part of the ride! I’m still loving BB Butt Series 1 & 2 on our Body Blast DVDbut find that I can’t lift my legs as high to the back or side and need way more time for stretching. When I do these workouts pregnant I’m moving at an all around slower pace. I also find that I get more winded with our standing workouts so I’m taking extra breaks and paying attention to my heart rate.  It’s all about listening to your body.

Below are also a few reminders that may seem obvious but are so important for a healthy and strong pregnancy!

1. Before you begin any exercise program, consult with your Dr.  Every pregnancy and each woman is different.  It is critical during pregnancy to work within your Dr.’s guidelines.

2. Listen to your body! My own Dr. is big on this one. Your body will let you know if something isn’t feeling right. Do not just assume that an exercise or movement that felt great pre-pregnancy will feel good now and vice versa. While I have been surprised by how many things from my normal routine are still feeling great, I back off when I get the signal that an exercise just is not working for me pregnant. It’s all about keying into your body and noting how it feels! Example: many of our low impact standing workouts like the Lunge Workout feel terrific to me now but the higher impact exercises like Ballet Beautiful Jump, The Allegra Workout and Cardio Body Blast do not.

3. Stay hydrated! Pregnancy requires drinking extra water and this is especially important when working out. Do not let yourself get dehydrated. I usually drink at least one full BB Bottle of filtered water during each workout and always extra after too.

Wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy!!  With love! xoxoMary Helen