So January has well & truly kicked in & everywhere we are bombarded with fitness & healthy eating. All of it aimed at us losing that Christmas podge and detoxing from the over indulgence of the season.
If you’re pregnant you may want to join in & treat this as an opportunity to really focus on your health and wellbeing for both you & your bump.
Why should I exercise in pregnancy?
Exercising can help you adapt to your changing body throughout pregnancy and have a positive effect on any low mood or anxiety. It will also increase your stamina and prepare your body to be stronger in labour- allowing you to adopt and maintain different positions. Exercising now in pregnancy will also help your body to recover after birth too.
Did you know being upright and mobile in labour can shorten the first stage of labour and help when it comes to birthing your baby?
Exercising in classes specifically aimed at mummies to be is also a brilliant way to make friends. These friendships will continue to blossom once your babies arrive and there is no better support network than other mums going through the same journey!
What exercise can I do whilst pregnant?
Any normal exercise that you did prior to being pregnant is safe to continue as long as it feels comfortable*. As your bump grows you will find that you may need to slow down or adapt the activity.
High levels of the hormone Progesterone cause your ligaments and joints to be lax and loose whilst pregnant. As a result you may be more prone to sprains and strains therefore pregnancy is not the time to suddenly decide to hit the gym and go crazy at the High Intensity classes!
Also be mindful that as your bump grows, the curvature in your back becomes more pronounced to accommodate the weight of the baby and this in turn alters your centre of gravity which can affect your balance. So you may not be as good at the one legged poses in yoga as you once were – but this is completely normal.
Some activities to avoid would be anything where there is a risk to you falling (horse-riding, climbing, cycling or gymnastics) or a risk of you being hit (kickboxing, squash, judo).
Tips for exercising whilst pregnant
- Make sure you take time to warm up & cool down to help prevent sprains and strains.
- Drink plenty of water to maintain hydration.
- Tell the class instructor that you are pregnant and how many weeks so that they can adjust exercises to your needs (make sure they are a suitably qualified instructor)
- Listen to your body – it will tell you when it’s time to slow down or stop.
- As your bump grows you may prefer to consider swimming or Aquanatal classes where the water will support your increased weight with no strain on your joints.
- Pregnancy Yoga/Pilates classes are ideal as they focus on relaxation and preparation for birth as well as physical exercise.
- Don’t forget pelvic floor exercises too!
Look out for our next blog on healthy eating in pregnancy coming soon.
Thanks for reading
Jane – The Midwife
For more blogs on pregnancy, birth and life as a new mum please visit www.naturalbirthingcompany.com/blogs/news
*During your pregnancy factors may come into play that result in classifying your pregnancy as “High risk” – in these circumstances you should seek direct advice from you own Midwife/Doctor according to your situation.
If you are unsure about anything or have any concerns whilst pregnant please speak to your Midwife.