The program is now available on the Emily Skye FIT app.
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Emily Skye
Credit: Emily Skye

It's only been a few months since Australian trainer and influencer Emily Skye gave birth to her second child, Izaac. But she's already been hard at work on a new project: She just launched a new workout program called FIT Pregnancy specifically designed for working out safely during when you're expecting. This exciting new venture has long been in the works for the mom of two, who spoke with Shape exclusively about why she decided to launch the program now.

"The first time I was pregnant, I really couldn't find a workout program that I could follow through every stage of pregnancy," she says. "Even with all the information out there and being a trainer myself, I felt a little unprepared."

During her second pregnancy, however, Skye decided to create and follow the FIT Pregnancy program, adapting it to her needs based on which trimester she was in. "As the baby grows and your body changes, your fitness routine needs to adapt, and that's what inspired me to create FIT Pregnancy," she says. On top of her own expertise as a trainer and mom, Skye created the program with the support of pre- and post-natal experts, a women's health physiotherapist (aka a physical therapist), and an advanced sports dietitian to help women exercise safely and feel their best through all three trimesters. (You'll love these fitness classes when you're expecting.)

The program offers a mix of low-impact HIIT and strength training exercises that take into account the specific safety needs of pregnant women. For example, none of the movements in the program require you to lie flat on your back to avoid putting pressure on the vena cava (a major vein that carries blood to the heart), says Skye. FYI, in that position, the pressure of your expanding uterus and the fetus inside can compress the vena cava and reduce blood flow to the heart, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine. (Related: 4 Ways You Need to Change Your Workout When You Get Pregnant)

You can also choose an intensity level that works best for you. The Low-Intensity option of each workout modifies movements and takes things down a notch if you're not feeling 100 percent. The Active and Strong version of each workout is designed to be performed if you feel like you're on your A-game. (Related: Emily Skye Has a Message for Everyone Who Thinks They Know What's Best for Her Pregnancy)

The first part of Skye's FIT pregnancy program, dubbed Trimester 1, covers weeks five through 12 of pregnancy. These seven weeks set a groundwork for expecting moms and helps them establish a workout routine so that they can consistently stay active throughout pregnancy. "During the first trimester, women who consider themselves active are still able to do a lot of exercises they were already doing before," says Skye. "So these first seven weeks are designed to help you keep up with your strength and stamina, provided the doctor has cleared you to work out, of course."

During this phase of the program, women are provided with four workout sessions, each of which includes a warm-up and cool-down. Some of the movements are quite simple (such as bird dogs, bodyweight squats, and fire hydrants), while others are more challenging (think: dumbell curls, resistance band hip thrusters, and deadlifts). (Related: The Top 5 Exercises Every Mom-to-Be Should Do)

The Trimester 2 segment of the program extends from week 13 to 28 of pregnancy. Similar to Trimester 1, women are offered four workout sessions per week, but this time, the fourth workout is optional. "This is when you really start noticing changes to your body," says Skye. "I wanted to modify this part of the program to help take some of these changes into account so that women can continue staying active while keeping themselves and their baby safe."

The exercises in this 15-week period are designed to maintain your back and core strength while reducing strain and limit risk, says Skye. For instance, moves like dumbell overhead presses, arm raises, and resistance band hip openers are all done while seated in a chair. Exercises like dumbell rows are also done while using a chair for assistance. Even simple stretches such as thread the needle use a limited range of motion to avoid injury.

"As you grow into the second trimester, the program takes out any exercises that cause intra-abdominal pressure," says Skye. As someone who has personally experienced the complications that come with diastasis recti, Skye wanted to ensure that her workouts safeguarded women's abdominal muscles as much as possible. "Separation of the ab muscles is totally normal at this stage of pregnancy, but I wanted to make sure that none of the exercises in this part of the program exacerbated that for women," she says. (Try These 7 Prenatal Pilates Exercises to Safely Strengthen Your Core During Pregnancy)

Last but not least, Trimester 3 covers weeks 29 to 38 of pregnancy. This part of the program offers three workouts a week, with the third workout being optional. At this stage of the program, women are encouraged to use very light weights or ditch them altogether, depending on how they're feeling. Each of the exercises will also have a reduced range of motion. For instance, the depth of your squats will decrease and all of the bent-over movements will require a chair for support. Women will also have the option of extending the rest periods before each round of the workouts if they need a bit of an extra break. "The exercises at this stage are designed to cater to all the changes that are happening to your body anatomically," says Skye. "The goal is to help you maintain your strength, reduce backaches, and feel physically prepared as you head into the birth process."

Another perk of the program is that you can start no matter where you are in your pregnancy, even if you missed the first trimester, for example. Just make sure the week you choose correlates with the stage of pregnancy you're in. For instance, if you're 31 weeks pregnant, you should start at week 31 of the program.

Keep in mind, Skye's FIT Pregnancy program may not be ideal for women who were fitness novices before pregnancy. "When it comes to physical exercise, you don't want to start something new that your body isn't used to," says Skye. "That said, there are several low-intensity options [in the program] including breathing, meditation, and stretching offerings that are suitable for all women. These are all quite easy, and gentle, but still, it's always best to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns." (Related: What to Know About Exercise and Heart Rate During Pregnancy)

Women who sign up for the program will also gain access to an extensive nutritional guide and expert-backed resources that answer several questions women might have as they maneuver through different trimesters of pregnancy. Some of these resources include a food safety guide for pregnant women and tips on how they can combat nausea during pregnancy. There's also information on how to perform Kegels and how often you should be doing them for the best results. (Consider these 5 exercises to prepare your body for childbirth, too.)

More importantly, Skye hopes that the program reminds women of how capable their bodies are for persevering through all the wonderful and challenging changes that happen while they're growing a baby. (Related: Emily Skye Is Showing Off Her Fitness Progress 5 Months After Giving Birth)

"Us women need to really appreciate our bodies and what we're capable of," she says. "Our bodies are amazing and I think with social media we get so caught up in how we look. Even I've been there. I try to practice what I preach, but I do have times when I log into my Instagram and see someone who's just given birth and has abs or is leaving the hospital in their skinny jeans. But I have to stop and remind myself to focus on my own journey and what I'm doing to stay healthy. I hope that the women using this program will be inspired to do the same."