No sleep, sore back, aching ankles… Exercise during pregnancy might not be the first thing you feel like, but there’s a lot to suggest that it can work wonders for you and your baby. In fact, studies have shown that getting moving can help boost your mood and ease some of those unbearable pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, chronic fatigue and all those aches and pains.
Getting your blood pumping for 30 minutes a day can ease bloating and swelling, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and can even lead to an easier delivery and recovery during the postpartum period.
As if that isn’t enough reason get off the couch!
As long as you find activities that suit you, moderate exercise during pregnancy can have incredible benefits for you and your baby’s health. Here are some exercises you can try to keep moving during pregnancy.
It’s important to find a routine that suits you and your body and even if you weren’t especially active prior to falling pregnant you’ll still be able to ease into it with lower impact exercises. Make sure not to overdo it, and remember that every mother’s pregnancy is different, so if you have any questions be sure to ask your obstetrician about the best exercise plan for you.
Here’s an easy one. Walking is easy, low impact and straightforward (literally). All you need is a good pair of supportive sneakers and you should be fine to continue all the way until your due date.
If you were an experienced jogger prior to pregnancy, there’s no reason stop now. As long as you keep a steady pace, keep to a relatively level path and don’t overdo it, running is a great way to get your cardio in. Bear in mind you may have to ease up or slow things down towards the end of your third trimester.
Aerobics and Dance
Aerobics classes can be a great way to get your cardio in during pregnancy and can be a relatively low strain practise if you’re new to exercise. Dance classes are also great for getting your heart rate up and you might even learn a new life skill! As your tummy expands you may need to adjust your routine so that you can stay balanced, or try moving to water aerobics during the third trimester.
Water activities are ideal during pregnancy because when you are submerged you are supported by the water and you virtually weigh less and feel lighter. You should be able to cover most strokes, but breaststroke and backstroke are particularly good for later stage pregnancies. Be sure to get into the pool carefully and avoid diving.
Weight lifting is a great way to keep in shape during pregnancy. Toning your muscles will help you to feel fitter and more energised throughout your day. To reduce the risk of injury, try to use a lower weight for more repetitions, (15 is a good number to aim for). Machines are a safer way to lift weights as they provide a straight course of motion, limiting the chance of injury.
Pilates and Yoga
Pilates an Yoga are both great ways to build your core strength and flexibility which will all make labour a whole lot easier. Lengthening your muscles, joints and tendons are also great ways to ease up aches and pains, especially those persistent backaches. Research has also shown that mothers who practised yoga regularly during pregnancy had a less painful and shorter labour.
If you have any questions about exercise during pregnancy or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Dr Brown is one of the most trusted obstetricians in Sydney and will be more than happy to give advice and compassionate care in every way possible.