Pregnancy Exercise

Pregnancy is such an amazing time, it really is remarkable what changes your body goes through to grow a baby, they are not to be underestimated! With these changes might come a variety of side effects; from swollen ankles, aches and pains and pelvic floor symptoms to nausea, fatigue and insomnia.

 

The great news is exercise is one of the most effective ways to manage some of these symptoms, and as an added bonus it will help keep you strong, healthy and prepare you for the endurance of labour and kick-start your postnatal recovery.

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Pregnancy brings about numerous changes to your body such as hormonal, metabolic and physical just to name a few. Safe and effective exercise and nutrition provides many foundational benefits to you and your babies development throughout pregnancy and in the postnatal phases of your life. It is important to adapt your exercise regime during pregnancy to accommodate and nurture the changes your body is going through to help you feel strong and energised and help prepare you for the endurance required for birth. 

Benefits of exercise during Pregnancy:

  • Improved strength and posture to accommodate your bodies changes, ie less aches and pains

  • Improved functional strength to function optimally

  • Maintenance and rehabilitation of core and pelvic floor

  • Improved cardiovasular and strength function, therefore improved ability to cope during labour

  • Numerous benefits to your developing baby ie increased supply of nutrients to baby from increased maternal fitness

What exercise to do during Pregnancy: 

  • Be sure to get clearance from your Midwife/Dr before exercising during pregnancy, there are some cases where even Pregnancy safe exercise is not recommended

  • Ensure you warm-up and cool down properly for atleast five minutes either side of your exercise session being sure to include some moving/dynamic stretches before hand and static stretches to finish off

  • Exercise at an intensity that is comfortable for you, so that you are still able to hold a conversation (A maximum intensity of 7-8/10)

  • Incorporate deep core (TVA) and pelvic floor exercises to support your posture, reduce aches and pains and maintain optimal health and function of these areas as they are stretched and their function becomes compromised

  • Be conscious and strive for optimal posture and alignment

  • Include a good balance of strength and mobility as well as endurance to prepare you for birth

  • Maintain hydration and ventilation throughout your exercise sessions

  • Be consistent but adaptable just like my programs. Adjust your sessions as your body changes, my programs with guide you on appropriate adjustments to do to suit each trimester and your ability

What exercises to avoid during Pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy is not the time to take up a new sport

  • Avoid overheating by keeping your intensity to maximum of 7-8/10. 

  • Contact sports, 

  • Take caution in sports from around trimester two where there is a lot of impact placed on your body such as those that include a lot of running, changing direction, and jumping, listen to your body!

  • No holding your breath, this can alter your blood pressure and also place increased pressure on your core and pelvic floor

  • Exercise on your back with caution from about 18 weeks onwards, the weight of your growing bump can restrict circulation

When you must stop exercising IMMEDIATELY (and call your midwife/Dr) these are warning signs you must be aware of and not ignore:

  • Chestpain

  • Unexplained shortness of breath

  • New or worsened nausea/vomiting

  • Dizziness or headache

  • Reduced movement of your baby

  • Vaginal bleeding 

  • Calf pain, swelling or redness

  • Sudden swelling of the ankles, hands or face

  • Muscle weakness

It is recommended that pregnant ladies perform moderate intensity exercise approximately 4-7 days per week for 20-30 minutes each of these days to achieve the benefits list above. But again listen to your body and adapt to suit how you are feeling.

Are you ready to get moving, ready to Energise your Pregnancy, ready to get Prepared for better birth outcomes. 

Join me in Person in our Private studio for 1:1 private sessions or join my online program full of exercise videos, stretches, birth prep and more accessible from the comfort of your own home. 

Try a sample online session here...follow along with me...

Make sure you have clearance to exercise from your midwife, keep hydrated and exercise in a well ventilated area

Look after your core and pelvic floor during pregnancy to improve birth outcomes and kickstart your postnatal recovery