Jillian Michaels Offers Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy

pregnant mom exercising Exercise and pregnancy…it’s the catalyst for every pregnant woman. In order to stave excessive weight gain, you have to exercise. But there is a balance required to keep both mother and baby safe. And then there’s the issue of post-pregnancy weight gain. How do you get rid of that left over baby weight quickly? Jillian Michaels offered some helpful tips in a recent “Caller 911” episode of Daily Dose with Jillian Michaels.

Jillian says that it’s important for every pregnant woman to get up and get moving, unless ordered otherwise by her doctor. And that exercise should include breaking a sweat. And you may or may not have to wait a full six weeks after pregnancy to start working on dropping that baby weight. It all depends on the person, Jillian says.

“With every pregnancy, it is unique to each woman,” Jillian said. “What she goes through during pregnancy, during the birth, all of these things are going to impact how early she should be up and exercising.”

If you were already active before your pregnancy, the likelihood is that you can continue your regular exercise routine without harming yourself or your baby. Take, for example, the mother than ran a marathon just hours before giving birth. She wasn’t acting just on impulse. A study from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that healthy women should continue their regular exercise routines to help stay in shape. As for women who aren’t regular exercisers, moderate exercise programs should be started, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

But whether you’re a regular exerciser or not, Jillian says you need to be careful. Listening to your body and keeping away from exercises that compress the spine are important for safety and health reasons.

“This is not the time to throw around the heavy weights,” Jillian said. “Don’t try to lose weight. Let’s ride that middle line where we don’t need to be precious, but we don’t need to prove a point with your pregnancy.”

She also says that you should avoid trying to lose weight during pregnancy and that you should go for low-impact exercises. Water workouts, prenatal yoga and prenatal Pilates will help stretch the muscles, tone the body and may even help ease pregnancy symptoms, like leg cramps and sore shoulders.

Oh, and if staving off the post-pregnancy weight wasn’t enough to get you up and moving, knowing that exercise could decrease risks to your baby might. Recent studies have found that maternal weight may be linked to autism. Your weight and diet can also impact your child’s risk for certain health conditions, like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Being overweight can also increase your risk to complications during birth and may result in a larger baby. But what if you’re already overweight? There are some things you can do for that, too.

Eating a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet during pregnancy can help reduce your risks, even if your overweight. And exercising can help as well, as long as you talk to your doctor first about what your limits might be.

In the end, Jillian says that it’s about finding what works best for you and knowing what your body can and can’t handle.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to [exercising while you’re pregnant]. Consult your physician, and don’t compare yourself to others,” she said.

What excellent advice!

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Image credit: yanlev / 123RF Stock Photo

About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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  • All pregnant women should strengthen their deepest abdominal muscle, their Transverse Abdominis, or TvA, to prevent common pregnancy related complaints and complications such as diastasis recti (abdominal separation), back pain, and pelvic instability. As an added benefit, because the TvA is the primary expulsion muscle, maintaining strength in this muscle greatly aids in the pushing phase of labor. Video demos of safe TvA exercises for pregnancy can be found at:

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