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Current Guidelines for Prenatal Fitness

presented by Catherine Cram

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This course will provide students with a detailed overview of current prenatal fitness guidelines, warning signs and symptoms, and exercise modification techniques. Research findings on the effects of exercise on maternal and fetal health will be examined, and the impact of fitness training on the physiological changes of pregnancy will be discussed. Guidelines for modifying exercise intensity, duration, frequency, and type throughout pregnancy for comfort and safety will be provided. Strength, flexibility, and proper lifting guidelines will be reviewed. The information provided in this course will allow health care professionals to provide evidence-based prenatal fitness guidelines and exercise training information to their clients, as well as aid them in creating a safe and effective fitness program in a class setting.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Catherine Cram, MS

    Catherine Cram, MS, is an exercise physiologist and the owner of Comprehensive Fitness Consulting, LLC. Comprehensive Fitness Consulting provides evidence-based maternal fitness information and continuing education course training to health and fitness professionals. Catherine developed the continuing education certificate course, Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design (Human Kinetics, 2016) with Gwen Hyatt. She co-authored the 2012 revised edition of Exercising Through Your Pregnancy with Dr. James Clapp (Addicus) and was a contributing author for the text, Women’s Health Care in Physical Therapy (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010).

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

    1. Benefits of Prenatal Exercise

    Research in the field of maternal fitness has shown that in uncomplicated pregnancies there are multiple benefits to including a fitness program throughout pregnancy.

  2. Physiological Changes of Pregnancy and the Impact of Exercise on Maternal and Fetal Well-Being

    2. Physiological Changes of Pregnancy and the Impact of Exercise on Maternal and Fetal Well-Being

    Pregnant women undergo significant cardiovascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and metabolic changes during the span of pregnancy. This chapter covers how exercise affects maternal adaptations to the physiological changes of pregnancy.

  3. Guidelines for Developing a Prenatal Exercise Program

    3. Guidelines for Developing a Prenatal Exercise Program

    An overview of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology guidelines for exercise during the prenatal period and the absolute and relative contraindications for exercise are discussed in this chapter. The four exercise components of intensity, duration, frequency, and type are reviewed.

  4. Exercise Program Modification Techniques

    4. Exercise Program Modification Techniques

    This chapter describes techniques for modifying each exercise component in order to provide a safe and effective fitness routine throughout the span of pregnancy. Guidelines for monitoring maternal response to exercise are listed.

  5. Prenatal Strength and Flexibility Training

    5. Prenatal Strength and Flexibility Training

    This chapter discusses the importance of incorporating strength and flexibility training in a prenatal fitness program. Specific guidelines for ensuring safe strength training throughout pregnancy are provided and modification techniques discussed. Exercises and tips for dealing with common conditions of pregnancy are demonstrated.