Exercises for Pregnant women

Exercises For Pregnant Women

A lot of people wonder if exercise is even safe during pregnancy and what movements a pregnant woman can and cannot do. Between getting a lot of conflicting advice from family and friends and influencers touting dangerous prenatal exercise practices online, it is hard to sort past the prenatal exercise misinformation and find evidence-based actions.

Prenatal exercise has been known to reduce back pain and promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Carrying out regular exercise during pregnancy would help to strengthen your heart and blood vessels and ease constipation (which is a pesky pregnancy symptom). It is also important in the postpartum period, as it would help improve mood and reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

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There are discussions in which pregnant women should not exercise until they have been further assessed by their obstetrician. Some of these circumstances would include symptoms of vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, amniotic leakage of fluid per vagina, dizziness, headache, chest pain, calf pain or swelling, muscle weakness affecting balance, labour pains and regular contractions.

If you need to exercise, keep the following in mind as your pregnancy progresses:

Do not engage in jerky and bouncy movements: Hormones during pregnancy can make the ligaments that support joints relaxed, which can increase the risk of injury. Modifying for low-impact movements instead is a great option.

Do not exercise in environments that have high heat: This should be avoided to protect against heat stress, especially when they are in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is very important that you stay hydrated during exercise and throughout the day. You should exercise in a temperature-controlled room if you need to. Hot yoga classes and the like should be avoided.

Do not carry out exercises flat on your back: Carrying out exercise flat on your back tends to put pressure on your growing uterus and on a large vein that returns blood to your heart. Ensure you are well propped up on some pillows or make use of a prenatal wedge if you want to do an exercise on your back. It is also important to carry out any form of exercise that would require you to lie on your belly, as well as carry out uncontrolled twisting motions of the torso. You can try exercises in the side-lying position, such as side-lying lower body pilates work and side-lying savasana.

Do not engage in abdominal crunches: Doing core exercises like crunches should be prevented to allow for flexibility in your rectus abdominis, which is the outermost layer of the abdominal wall. However, there is no need to completely avoid core work during pregnancy.  Engaging in gentle abdominal work would help keep your baby from weighing down on the bladder.

Do not engage in contact sports: Sporting activities like basketball, soccer, boxing and ice hockey can get you hit in the stomach and should be averted at all costs.

It is important to strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy as the demand for core stability increases as your baby grows and your joints become slightly more lax. Strengthening the pelvic floor during pregnancy would also help in reducing the risk of getting urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse which may occur during pregnancy and postpartum. The more strength you can build during pregnancy means a better recovery after delivery.

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The best exercises for the first trimester of pregnancy include:

  1. Diaphragmatic Breath with Pelvic Floor Activation
  2. P.sit to Stand
  3. Pelvis Articulation
  4. Standing And
  5. Butt Press

The best exercises for the second trimester of pregnancy include:

  1. Stagger Roll
  2. Rotating Stagger
  3. Internal 45 with Side Stretch
  4. Leg lift

The best exercises for the third trimester of pregnancy includes:

  1. Fire Hydrant
  2. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
  3. Hamstring Press