Everything you need to know about exercise cautions during pregnancy. By using the tips and advice we mentioned you can exercise safer.
Pregnancy is a life-altering event. Everything becomes a blur as a pregnant mother endeavors to eat right, attend regular doctor appointments, make a happy home for Baby and adjust to the changes in her body. Add in study time for the plethora of information thrown at pregnant women and there doesn’t seem to be room for much else. Doctors, however, are recommending pregnant women make room for one more thing: exercise.
You should see our other articles and categories to learn the things you wonder.
Benefits of Exercise
According to studies endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) , there are a number of benefits a pregnant woman may reap by exercising a cumulative 30 minutes a day, most days a week. Benefits include keeping a pregnancy in the low-risk category, decreasing a woman’s chances of tangling with pre-eclampsia, helping maintain an appropriate weight gain and a higher baby birth weight upon delivery.
Women who exercise during pregnancy also report less anxiety or depression and may have an easier delivery compared to their non-exercising counterparts. That being said, there are some potential potholes down the exercise road pregnant women should make note of.
To learn about yoga during pregnancy : Doing Yoga in Pregnancy
Pregnancy and Exercise Concerns
In an article about this subject, Justin M. and Krista H. examined concerns regarding exercise during pregnancy and evaluated the best course of action for women who exercise while pregnant. According to Justin and Krista, the growth of both the breasts and stomach create a change in a woman’s center of gravity, creating potential problems with balance. There’s also the issue of heart rate. A heart rate that is too high may cause seizures, body temperature issues, fainting spells and potential harm to the fetus.
Doyle B, practicing OB/GYN, recommends women maintain their normal exercise routine. “Taking on new types of activities could be dangerous to a pregnant woman if she is not already fit,” says Doyle. He suggests a heart rate of no more than 80 percent of a woman’s stated maximum to avoid compromising the fetus.
There are also women who should not exercise during pregnancy and should consult a physician before exerting too much physical effort in any activity. The ACOG suggests certain circumstances under which it is not safe for a pregnant woman to exercise. These conditions include pregnancy-induced hypertension, preterm labor during current or prior pregnancy, placenta previa, persistent bleeding, incompetent cervix or cerclage placement and intrauterine growth retardation.
Also, check our another article about predicting preterm labor: Predicting Preterm Labor – Gauging Effectiveness of Home Uterine Activity Monitors
Some conditions allowing for some physical activity include chronic hypertension, vascular disease, pulmonary disease, cardiac disease or thyroid function abnormality.
“Obviously women who have cardiovascular problems or physical limitations should not exercise beyond their normal abilities,” says Doyle. A pregnant woman should always consult her OB/GYN with any questions about exercise. ( exercise cautions during pregnancy )
What about your ideas? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Should I or Shouldn’t I?
If a woman who is currently pregnant is debating the degree of danger of certain sports, here are some guidelines provided by Justin and Krista and the ACOG.
The following exercises fall in the “yes, do it!” category:
- Walking – Also take a look at our another article : Walking During Pregnancy and Its Benefits
- Aerobics (low-impact)
- Water aerobics (low-impact)
- Stationary cycling
- Other low-impact, no-contact activities
The following exercises fall in the “you really shouldn’t” category:
- Horseback riding
- Scuba diving
- Other contact or high-risk sports where there is an increased potential for trauma to the abdomen
The ACOG has published several guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. As stated above, the recommended amount of exercise is a cumulative 30 minutes a day most, if not all, days of the week. Athletes can remain active and most exercise activities are considered safe, but there are some safety cautions to take:
- Avoid activities during which body temperature will increase.
- Stop exercising when dizzy, short of breath or tired.
- Before exercising, eat a complex carbohydrate or protein (e.g. cheese, wheat crackers, peanut butter on whole-wheat bread).
- Keep breathing as normal as possible and exhale during exercise requiring more physical exertion.
- Avoid holding breath during exercise.
- Avoid exercises putting stress on the abdomen.
- Use special caution with exercise putting extra pressure on the joints, as they are looser during pregnancy (be careful with adding weights to your exercise regimen).
- Exercise should not prevent a pregnant woman from gaining a healthy 30 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. (exercise cautions during pregnancy)
Our articles are prepared to give advice. Always consult your doctor first for any problems and exact information.
The names of the people mentioned in the article have been changed for security reasons and to protect privacy.