The Geauga Family YMCA is committed to helping all members achieve their health and wellness goals, particularly expectant mothers for whom up to 150 minutes of physical activity per week is recommended and encouraged. Expectant mothers can be confident that the type of exercise they most enjoy will have positive health benefits to both themselves and their babies.

As recommended by the American College of Sports and Medicine, “Exercise before and during pregnancy is both safe and beneficial to mother and baby,” and when expectant mothers stay active during pregnancy, healthy lifestyles are encouraged in children even before birth. The ACSM also recommends personalization of exercise plans for expectant moms given the unique nature of individual pregnancies. The Geauga Family YMCA has a range of health and wellness professionals on staff, including personal trainers, who can design programs specific to the individual needs of expectant mothers. Group exercise instructors can also assist mothers-to-be in appropriately modifying exercises and movements during group exercise classes, which include such offerings as yoga, piyo, cardio sculpt, water aerobics, and Zumba.

YMCA professionals can also guide expectant mothers in properly monitoring caloric and fluid intake when maintaining high levels of physical activity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a “lack of adequate caloric or water intake as well as exercise in hot or humid temperatures could negatively impact fluid balance, healthy body weight maintenance, and core body temperature, all of which are necessary to optimize maternal and fetal health during pregnancy.”  

If women decide to start being active as a result of pregnancy, there are safe ways to create new fitness habits and “evidence suggests that healthy, previously sedentary pregnant women can and should begin a physical activity program during pregnancy,” a recommendation that aligns with guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Expectant mothers independently starting fitness programs for the first time at the YMCA are encouraged to consult health and wellness staff.

Library resources are a perfect supplement to the YMCA exercise programs of expectant and new mothers. With Geauga County Public Library Lobby Stop Visits two Fridays a month at the Y, members can pick up or return library items on site before or after their workouts. Reading and viewing recommendations include: Your Fit Pregnancy: Nutrition & Exercise Handbook; The Complete Guide to Aqua Exercise for Pregnancy and Postnatal Health; Yoga Mama, Yoga Baby: Ayurveda and Yoga for a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth;  Baby Days.

Written by Stephanie Murphy, ACSM CES, FMT; Nicole Wilson, MFA, CPT

Reference:  American College of Sports Medicine’s Certified News, Volume 26: Issue 3, 2016.

Stephanie is currently reading Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff by Chip Gaines

Nicole is currently reading South and West by Joan Didion.

YMCA staff members left to right: Chris Carney; Stephanie Murphy; Nicole Wilson; Corey Baumgart.