Exercise is not only beneficial to pregnant women, but to the baby as well. It is better to talk with your OBGYN before starting an exercise program. There are a lot of exercises that are available and appropriate for each trimester. However, not all pregnant women are advised to exercise. Vigorous physical activity is inhibited to pregnant women who have preterm labor, heart problems, lung disease, preeclampsia, incompetent cervix, vaginal bleeding that doesn’t go away, placenta previa, and ruptured membranes.
Performing physical activities during pregnancy have been proven beneficial for normal pregnancies. It has been shown to improve the overall health of the mother, contain weight gain without compromising the baby’s growth and development, and speed up post-partum recovery.
What are the best activities to do during pregnancy?
After confirming from your physician that you’re fit to exercise during pregnancy, you could now choose the type of activity you want.
You can attend yoga or aerobic classes. Swimming has been a great form of exercise for pregnant women. This is because the water supports your weight and your heart rate goes up as you move against it. You could also walk with your partner.
Strengthening exercises for the abdomen, pelvic tilt exercises, and pelvic floor exercises are also important to include with your exercise program. These exercises strengthen the muscles particularly in the abdominal area so that you can carry the extra weight brought about by pregnancy, improve backache, make the joints stronger and improve circulation.
Avoid activities that may hurt you and your baby as well as could cause fall. These activities include gymnastics, horseback riding and bicycling. In addition, avoid activities that could hit your belly such as basketball, kick boxing and soccer. Lastly, avoid activities and sports that involve bouncing or jerky movements.
Don’t exercise on a hot, humid day. This could cause your body to overheat. Activities performed on high altitudes which are more than 6,000 feet must be avoided. Doing so lowers the amount of oxygen that could reach to the baby. Do not lie flat on your back when exercising, especially after your 16th week of pregnancy. This position presses the main blood vessels, which will cause the vessels to bring blood back to the heart. As a result, this will make you feel faint.
The benefits of being dynamic during pregnancy can help you after pregnancy. Being active helps you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and helps you recuperate energy and mood.
Signs that tell you to stop exercising
If you have the following signs, stop your activity and contact your physician immediately.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal leakage (fluid)
- Chest pain
- Uterine contractions
- Decreased fetal movement
- Difficulty breathing
- Calf pain
- Calf swelling