I have spoken about weight training while pregnant before but now that my wife has given birth and my little boy has been born, I wanted to cover it again through my own experiences NOT just science and physiology.
My wife, as well as other clients who have trained with me throughout their pregnancy, have not experienced any of these common symptoms of pregnancy:
Swollen hands and feet
Aching lower back
Obviously there are some pregnancy symptoms that you will still experience but why not do what you can to eliminate/reduce the symptoms which you can.
The aftermath of giving birth and the first few weeks of life as a parent will obviously put your body through a fair bit of trauma and therefore it will need time to recover. However, your body is far more likely to recover at a quicker rate if you were fit and healthy before and during pregnancy. We are 2 weeks into parenthood now and my wife has returned to her weight training; everybody is different and may need longer to recover but it shows what your body can be capable of. Your midwife can advise you on when this is best for you.
You'll be amazed at how those functional weight training movements come into play being a parent- you are constantly standing up holding and rocking a baby; putting your baby in his moses basket and picking him up over and over again throughout the night (upper and lower back strength and mobility); holding your baby over your shoulder to wind him (shoulder muscle and joint strength). The most noticeable one for me is trying to get out of bed with your baby in your arms or get up off the sofa again with your baby in your arms. It is not quite as simple as using one arm to push yourself up whilst holding your newborn in one arm- this is where the squat movement heavily comes into play as both my wife and I have found.
If there is anything you SHOULD do, even if you don't like exercising, it is to squat everyday while pregnant. This can be as simple as just sitting down on a chair and getting back up, start with 3 lots of 10 repetitions and each day try and do an extra rep. I can guarantee that this will help plus it will burn some extra calories which is a win-win situation. As mentioned in my previous blog 'Pregnancy and Training', the advice given is that you should be careful; listen to your body and not do anything which makes you feel too out of breath- read my blog for further details.
Start now and your body will thank you later.