How to gauge readiness for activity with Pre & Post Natal clients

There’s a number of aspects which must be considered when designing a pre/post-natal programme. Once screening has occurred you need to be able to interpret your client’s readiness.

Firstly, we will look at your client’s general health status. The presence of contraindications and complications must be acknowledged in order to protect both mother and child. You have an ethical responsibility to screen your client and refer them to their GP or midwife where needed.

Next, we focus on their fitness status. If your prenatal client has been following a programme with you before pregnancy, within reason and minor adaptations through each trimester they should be able to maintain the programme to some degree. That is being mindful of contraindications and any warning signs.

Newcomers to activity will need to seek medical clearance to take part in activity. It is recommended they complete no more than 15 minutes of continuous activity 3 times a week. This can gradually increase to 30 minutes if they feel comfortable doing so (NHS).

Continuing with, or beginning exercise when pregnant has been deemed as safe presuming there are no previous concerns to the individual (ACOG, 2017).

Finally, as a trainer, it’s your call to change their exercise selection, position and intensity based on their biomechanics and physiological changes which occur from each trimester.

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