Sunday, April 21, 2013

Twin Pregnancy: Follow with Gemma During her Twin Pregnancy!

I am so excited this is our new blog and video series following one of my clients Gemma through her twin pregnancy! 

It was almost 2 months ago now when Gemma first contacted me about personal training. She had just found out she was pregnant with her first and wanted to make an appointment to come and see me for personal training sessions. We scheduled an appointment and I advised her to see if she could get an early scan just to check everything was OK. I tend to always suggest this now based on my own and clients past experiences. A scan at 6-9 weeks is the most accurate for dates.

A couple of days later Gemma contacted me to say that the scan went well and it was TWINS and should she still come and see me?! Oh yes, definitely and huge congratulations was my reply. Gemma was 8 weeks in to her pregnancy when we met for  the first appointment at the gym where I base my personal training business. I was very surprised when I heard that she was feeling OK not tired or even sick.....yet!

Over the course of her first trimester Gemma had no pregnancy nausea and minimal tiredness, she is born to breed as her Obstetrician pointed out!

Gemma has worked hard over the last few years, she is her own boss and the business is now well established. Due to this she is quite lucky in that she was able to rest when she needed, which probably reduced most of the tiredness and fatigue often associated in those first few weeks. Wow I remember my first pregnancy and all most every afternoon I would put my feet up, read and fall asleep, oh the benefits of being self-employed but oh so different pregnancies two and three!

First Pt Session:
When I first meet a client I discuss many points including past exercise, injury history, nutrition, hydration, sleep and stress levels along with a postural assessment. This allows me to prescribe a specific and individual program to follow. 

Now  I know I have a tendency not to practice what I preach (I don't have the time...) and Gemma was no different preferring high intensity exercise over re-hab. She is a qualified physiotherapist and was in need of a complete re-hab program to prepare her for her pregnancy, birth and beyond. We started with the basics and ensured correct activation of transverse abdominus (TVA for short) was the first thing we did.

The first 3 video's featured are from 11-13 weeks, the exercises concentrate on strengthening weak core muscles and correcting alignment. Ultimately leading to reducing any possible lower back pain and reducing pregnancy diastasis recti-abdominal muscle separation.

Before her pregnancy Gemma was very fit managing to exercise 5-6 times a week and would regularly take part in high intensity /interval type training, boxing and spinning. Originally  Gemma intended to maintain her current exercise program but things changed pretty quickly!

Through the first trimester she averaged exercise 3-4 times a week, 3 of those were strength based sessions as you will see in the video. A typical week was:-
Mon: Pregnancy Exercise Group (Positively Pregnant- PP) Wed: PT Session  Fri: PP Group
Sat or Sun: Walk 40-50 minutes

Lower Abdominal Leg Slides: Activation of TVA and One leg Glute Lifts
For Correct activation of your Transverse abdominus click here


Hip Bridge at 11 weeks: Strengthen your Glutes!

Gemma is lucky as being a physiotherapist she knows exactly what to do. Her partner is also a physiotherapist so she and the babies will benefit from regular massage. Massage increases blood flow, improving circulation so not only does the mum benefit but the babies too as the blood flow via the placentas is also improved. 

From 14 weeks Gemma has been able to increase her exercise and going into her 2nd trimester her weekly exercise program now looks like this:-
3 x a Week 7-8km Fast Walk,  2 x PP sessions and 1x 60min PT session

Challenging Exercises Week 13: Side Lunge with pull and walking lunges

During the first trimester Gemma wasn't sick but she did experience headaches. Headaches can be quite common during pregnancy and I have 'googled' this as I too suffered but still can't find the real reason why these migraine type headaches happen and are experienced by many during their first trimester. What I have found that helps is keeping hydrated so drink at least 2 litres of water a day, eat at regular intervals-every 2-3 hours and getting enough sleep so make sure you get to bed early! 

Ultra Sound Scans:

Gemma was so nervous before the 13 week scan as you would expect but it is very different when you have two babies to check and a higher risk pregnancy. The scan went really well so Gemma and her partner were very relieved, both babies were good size and they got a very cool 4D scan of them both looking like they were hugging each other it was very cute. Time to tell everyone!

Next Month- Early Second trimester: Multiple birth groups, breastfeeding, kettle bell and suspension training, 18 week Anatomy ultra sound scan and Gemma celebrates her 30th Birthday with an overseas holiday-traveling pregnant with twins.

Make sure you subscribe to our youtube channel or this blog so you don’t miss out on following Gemma’s twin pregnancy.

If you feel any pain or discomfort whilst exercising, stop. If pain continues consult you L.M.C or G.P. The information included in this article has been written by Lorraine Scapens: She is not able to provide you with medical advice the information is used as guidelines. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for any injuries that may occur whilst training.