NAYA | Who said pregnant women can’t work out?

Nassar advises women not to train abs, not to lie down flat on their back, or do anything else that puts pressure on their core.
by Maria Matar

29 May 2019 | 11:29

Source: by Annahar

  • by Maria Matar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 29 May 2019 | 11:29

Photo taken during the Pregnancy Wellness workshop

Beirut: Moms-to-be experience major changes in different aspects of their lives. In aim of making it easier for them to cope with the changes of their bodies and the weight gain, fitness expert Maya Nassar organized a workshop titled “Pregnancy Wellness” on Tuesday, May 28.

“Pregnancy is a tough but, beautiful journey. I will give birth to my second baby in two weeks and I wanted to share my experience with other pregnant women in this event in order to guide them through it,” Nassar explained.

Taking place at Start Living Right gym, the workshop featured a number of speakers from different fields.

“Exercising is basically a benefit in all cases. When it comes to pregnancy, it promotes a smooth delivery and teaches women how to breathe properly,” Dr. Richard Kharrat, gynecologist, said while discussing the importance of exercising for pregnant women. “However, it is essential to consult your doctor every step of the way.”

Following Kharrat’s discussion, dietitian Imane Ghoussoub shared with participants the ultimate diet plan for a pregnant woman. Her recommendations included eating frequent meals during the day and adding ginger tea to one’s diet.

Building on that topic, Nassar debunked a common myth among pregnant women: “women should eat for two.”

The fitness expert explained that during the first trimester, moms-to-be don’t need any extra calories; during the second trimester they need only 300 extra calories per day; and during the last trimester they need 500 extra calories per day.

Moreover, she clarified that a woman should only eat more calories if she is underweight but, not if she overweight.

Nassar also mentioned a few food women should stay away from during pregnancy, those include but, are not limited to: sushi, raw food, raw cheese, raw meat, or unpasteurized cheese.

As for the activities that women cannot perform during pregnancy, Nassar mentioned several including: horseback riding, water skiing, cycling, basketball, and several others.

“The first step is to get a medical clearance from your doctor and then you can keep on doing what you were doing before the pregnancy but, with a lower intensity,” she said.

Nassar added that in the second and third trimester, she advises women not to train abs, not to lie down flat on their back, or do anything else that puts pressure on their core.

The workshop ended with participants teaming up for a quick pregnancy work-out and enjoying healthy bites for them and their babies.

“Many pregnant women are confused. They don’t know how to exercise during their pregnancy and what to avoid,” Nassar told Annahar. “Unfortunately, we don’t have information on the topic in the Middle East since there’s still the myth that pregnant women should stay at home and sleep all day.”

Acknowledging the importance of the subject, Nassar is also preparing an e-book guide for pregnancy.

The guide will include a diet section, exercise programs with illustrations, general information, vitamin lists, and a beauty guide that tackles topics such as how to avoid stretchmarks, how to get rid of acne, and much more.

The book will be endorsed, checked, and confirmed by a gynecologist and it will be available in a couple of months.


Welcome to “Naya”, the newest addition to Annahar’s coverage. This section aims at fortifying Lebanese women’s voices by highlighting their talents, challenges, innovations, and women’s empowerment. We will also be reporting on the world of work, family, style, health, and culture. Naya is devoted to women of all generations-Naya Editor, Sally Farhat: [email protected]

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