Exercising is a vital part to life, and that definitely doesn’t stop when you become pregnant!
Just because you’re a waddling woman with a big belly and back pain doesn’t entitle you to skip this healthy regiment. Being active doesn’t mean going to a gym necessarily, but you must get your butt moving for at least 30 minutes almost every single day. This can be walking for 30 minutes with your dog in the afternoon or breaking it up- 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes after dinner. You can go on a bike ride, go swimming or participate in a yoga class.
What Not to Do...for a safe pregnancy
Obviously be smart about what type of exercise you choose. Clearly, football, soccer, softball, horseback riding, gymnastics, kickboxing, downhill skiing, hockey, cross fit, plyometrics and the like should be avoided for a safe pregnancy. Use your head-nothing that will hurt the baby by hitting your stomach, shaking the baby or risking injury of falling.
Benefits to Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercise can be invaluable in making your pregnancy healthy and happy. For starters, it can help with constipation, backache, fatigue, and varicose veins. And not only can it aid in improving your sleep, but it also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and anxiety. (“Why Exercise During Pregnancy?” womenshealth.gov)
As if that all wasn't enough, Active women have shorter labors, easier deliveries, quicker recovery times, and can be into shape faster postpartum. (Snuggs, Exercise and Pregnancy, suite101.com) And of course, what’s good for mom is good for baby. Exercise gets the blood circulating, which positively affects the placenta (which gives baby oxygen and nutrients). (Booth and Alpino, Exercise during pregnancy helps you stay healthy” babyfit.com)
Talk to you Doctor before
No matter what your activity preference may be, just be sure to verify whatever you chose with your midwife or doctor before starting. There are a few cases when it could be unsafe including: carrying twins or more, risk of premature labor, heart or lung disease, bleeding, ruptured membranes, placenta previa, (“Why exercise during pregnancy” womenshealth.com) complications with past pregnancies, severe diabetes, seizure disorders, asthma, anemia, muscle or joint problems, repeated C sections, previous miscarriage, a sedentary lifestyle or if you’re extremely over or underweight. (“exercising while you’re pregnant” babyfit.com)
Assuming you’re in the clear with your doc, remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. You’ll need more water than you think you need. It’s also more difficult to manage your body now with your big belly, big boobs and your imbalance! So be cautious and go slower than you think you need to until you get used to this new body. Patience is key here :) (biggest lesson I've learned during this process!)
All of your ligaments and joints are looser than ever, allowing your body to expand for the growing baby and uterus. Overstretching will not do you any good. And neither will lying flat on your back. After sixteen weeks, avoid doing any exercise that has you in that position. The weight of your newly heavy uterus on a major blood vessel can affect blood flow to the placenta. Not cool. Be careful when stretching and doing yoga!