In most cases exercise during pregnancy is beneficial
If you are having a healthy, low risk pregnancy, exercise can be very beneficial for both you and your baby. The important thing to know is to only do exercises that are safe and at the appropriate level for your individual situation, taking into account your level of activity and fitness level before you became pregnant and the stage of pregnancy you are at. Your doctor will be able to provide you with some guidance based on your individual situation.
Prenatal fitness classes
You may also benefit from attending a prenatal fitness class. As well as meeting other pregnant mums to be, you will receive instruction, supervision and exercises custom designed for your pregnancy. A carefully planned fitness regime will allow you to continue activities that will assist, rather than exacerbate any pregnancy conditions, aches or pains.
What to avoid
As a general rule, it is recommended that you avoid long periods of intense exercise, exercise moves that jolt your joints and pelvic floor, or positions and activities that may stress your body or compromise blood flow to the uterus (remember not to do any exercises lying on your back after the first trimester).
When rest is best
There are some medical conditions that can develop during pregnancy which mean you will only be able to perform gentle activities such as pelvic floor lifts and circulation exercises. In the unlikely event you develop any of the following conditions, your doctor will advise you to avoid exercise and rest.
These conditions include:
- Incompetent cervix
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Maternal heart disease
- Placenta previa after 26 weeks
- Restrictive lung disease
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Venous or pulmonary thrombosis
- Persistent bleeding
- Preterm labour
When you need to be especially careful
While it is still safe to exercise, some women experience pregnancy related conditions that require extra supervision, advice and exercise modification.
If you have any of the following conditions, consult your doctor or physiotherapist for further advice about how to modify your exercise appropriately:
- Pelvic joint pain
- Back pain
- Being significantly underweight or overweight
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Gestational diabetes
- Multiple pregnancy
- Gastric reflux
- Other aches and pains
Know when you need to stop
No matter what your fitness level, if you experience any of the following symptoms when exercising you should stop activity immediately and contact your healthcare provider:
- Abdominal cramps
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Abdominal cramps
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Excessive shortness of breath
- Feeling unusually hot or overheated
- Intense back pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ruptured membranes
- Severe headache
- Sudden join pain
- Sudden swelling in your hands, feet or ankles
- Vaginal bleeding
For more information on pregnancy exercise follow this blog below.
On my YouTube channel you’ll find lots of information on pregnancy exercise including pregnancy exercise videos.