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Three exercises for a healthy pregnancy

Everyone and her doula knows that healthy babies come from healthy mamas. But where to begin? Here are some of Chicagoland’s favorite places to exercise during pregnancy. (Note: Check with your health care provider before starting anything new!)

Yoga:

Try this Pilates stretch at home

Sit tall with legs straightened just wider than your hips. Round your spine forward as though you’re going over a beach ball (or your growing belly!) and roll back up as straight as possible.

The ‘it’ places

“Making time for mom can be one of the biggest challenges,” says certified prenatal yoga instructor Jessie Young-Novak. Prenatal yoga is a good place to start. It conditions the pelvic structure and encourages posture—excellent for ever-changing bodies and babies! Practicing breathing and mindfulness allows you to let go of expectations and go with the flow—an excellent tool once the baby arrives, too.

Swimming:

Whether splashing with your baby or channeling your inner mermaid, water exposure is great for you both. Debating a Mom ‘n’ Me class? “One of the overlooked benefits is the skin-to-skin contact, which aids in bonding between parents and children … and takes advantage of babies’ natural love for the water,” says Alison Jung of Goldfish Swim School Chicago.

Pilates:

For a highly customizable practice during each stage of pregnancy, devotees rave about Pilates. “Women who have done Pilates before their pregnancies have the strength and muscle memory to ‘bounce back’ postpartum (and) have a positive experience during delivery,” says Alicia Zabrocki, studio owner and certified Pilates instructor at Pilates Center of Chicago.

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