The purpose of the Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist is to build exercise participation for beginners and already active women at all stages of pregnancy and in post-partum period.
It could be done through group or individual exercise programmes that meet their needs and objectives. In addition, the Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialist will be expected to regularly review participants’ progress and be able to report on adherence and outcomes to relevant stakeholders.
The Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialists have the ability to communicate with pregnant and postpartum women, and promote their engagement in specific exercise and health programmes. They also have the ability to communicate with medical and healthcare professionals about the pregnant participant’s conditions and with an under-standing of the standard medical conditions or contraindications in what is related to ex-ercise. They can programme and supervise group or individual exercise, adapting the different forms of exercise to each trimester of pregnancy and postpartum period, ac-cording to available exercise guidelines. Additionally, they have the ability to develop a prenatal exercise programme for previously inactive or for active women, including ath-letes.
These Exercise Specialists will take a holistic approach to the wellness of their pregnant women. It includes advising on lifestyle, healthy eating and stress management in addi-tion to the benefits of exercise relevant to the condition, with respect to professional boundaries.
The Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Specialists should be able to:
- Communicate with pregnant and postpartum women in tasks related to the im-plementation of an exercise programme;
- Communicate with medical and healthcare professionals about their pregnant or postpartum clients’ conditions;
- Perform health and fitness assessment related to pregnant and postpartum wom-en’s exercise participation;
- Program and supervise group or individual exercise, according to women’s condi-tion, each trimester of pregnancy and/or postpartum period, following available guidelines and physicians’ recommendations;
- Adapt different types and forms of exercise to each trimester of pregnancy and postpartum period, which are safe and effective for this special population;
- Recognize and respond to emergency situations and to warning signs to terminate exercise;
- Educate women on pre- and postnatal physical activity and exercise;
- Advise pregnant and postpartum women on lifestyle, including healthy eating and stress management, emphasizing the benefits of exercise for expectant mothers and their babies;
- Promote pregnant and postpartum women’s engagement in specific exercise and health programmes;
- Respect own professional limitations to implement exercise programmes in preg-nancy and postpartum period, and receive referrals from and refer women to oth-er healthcare providers as appropriate.