New guidelines encourage exercise by pregnant women, new mothers

HERMOSA BEACH (KABC) -- In Hermosa Beach at Bionic Body, pre- and postnatal expert Danielle Spangler teaches her Bionic Mommy class, which features barre exercises and body-weight workouts.

"We're not lifting dumbbells in here, we're not working with big machines you see in the gym," Spangler said.

At this time in their lives, those are about the last thing the mothers-to-be need.

"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has set the guidelines for pregnant women and postpartum women in regards to exercise for the last 20-30 years," stated Spangler.

But until recently, those experts hadn't made any updates over the last 10 years. So a recent upgrade was extremely important.

"They recommended every woman who is pregnant exercise unless extreme medical pre-existing conditions," Spangler said. "To alleviate sciatica, swelling, any kind of aches and pains back issues and definitely diastisus."

Diastisus is when the abdominals stretch more than they should, resulting in dangers that lead to hernias and low-back pain. So how you move is very important.

If you've just had a baby you need to wait six weeks for your doctor's clearance and Spangler says you're going to want to wait at least three months before you start doing some serious exercise.

"Sometimes I see women coming in who are very fit prior to pregnancy. They're very anxious to get their baby body back, and they start doing really extreme exercises: Cross fit, kickboxing, really dangerous. Crunches, anything extreme on the abdominal area. Even planking, squat thrusts, those are all big no-no's," she reminded.

Her program puts an emphasis on pelvic tilts and Kegel exercises and strength via body and exercise bands.

If you're unfamiliar, check with trainers like Spangler who are certified to train this specific group.
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