Congratulation to the expecting mothers who have just conceived. It is natural to be engaged in number of preparations to pamper the baby to come during pregnancy, so that best care is delivered to the child within the womb only. You must have included these things such as nutritional advice, regular checkup/ visit to gynecologist, wardrobe changes, other modification at home and workplace.
However, a visit to physiotherapist is often missed as people rarely consider its significance and often exercising during pregnancy is associated with different myths. Let me help you to break those myths and understand the importance of exercising for a pregnant woman
To the contrary, of this myth, exercises during pregnancy has clear mental and physical health benefits for pregnant woman including improved sleep and mood, and prevention of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise during pregnancy also has been associated to decreased risk of the macrosomia in newborns and preeclampsia premature deliveries.
During pregnancy, there is release of hormone called relaxin, which makes your supportive structures lax and they become more susceptible to injury on low loads. So, exercises with light weights (theraband, dumbbell etc) twice weekly is recommended by ACOG( American committee of obs and gyne). I would advise you to make sure strengthening exercises is to be done in sitting position to avoid strain over vena cava as this can reduce blood flow to your brain and uterus, thereby, subjecting both you and your baby at risk. Likewise, standing can make it difficult to maintain correct posture while lifting, causing resultant back pain.
Engaging your abdominal muscles is no more restriction now; but to be precise, it is important to do it in appropriate way. Developing foetus puts lot of pressure over bladder, uterus, abdominal wall as the increase in foetus size can lead to weakening of bladder, uterus and separation of abdominal muscles attachments. Incorporating core contraction and pelvic floor exercises can help you lot in avoiding leaking problems which generally develops in last trimester. I would recommend you to learn exercises from the physiotherapist during antenatal session's classes.
Not denying the fact walking is good cardio exercise for pregnant women. But to overcome the boredom of regular walking, I would recommend to start swimming, aerobics exercises, and Pilates as other cardio options. However, one needs to consider the core temperature of body and monitor heart rate. Keeping the ranges (60–70% of maximal heart rate or 50–60% of maximal oxygen uptake) appears to be appropriate for most pregnant women who did not engage in regular exercise before pregnancy, and the upper part of these ranges should be considered for those who wish to continue to maintain fitness during pregnancy. Ask your physiotherapist how to calculate your heart rate.
Different anatomical changes that happens in phases of pregnancy can lead to over stretching over the spine and hip areas. These areas are more susceptible to changes during pregnancy that is why low back pain, pelvic girdle pain is common conditions. Physiotherapy treatments helps a lots in getting out these pain not only through specialized correction techniques and but also by educating mothers about their posture and self-awareness of their body.