In some countries there are still misconceptions surrounding exercise during pregnancy: people ask if it is safe to be active, and could exertion potentially harm the baby or cause a miscarriage? Fortunately, research shows no significant link between exercise and miscarriage, and that women who exercise regularly actually gain many benefits and cope better with childbirth and develop less complications both pre and post-delivery.
Always check with your doctor before exercising if you have any health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions or are overweight plus anything related to pregnancy such as placenta issues, while symptoms of dizziness, abdominal pain, bleeding, extreme nausea, headaches or contractions should always be followed up. Your physiotherapist can advise you regarding the management of common complaints such as back pain and urinary stress incontinence in addition to devising suitable exercise programmes and classes to support you through each trimester and as the birth approaches.
There are a multitude of benefits to exercise including improved quality of sleep, more energy and better moods, maintenance of good posture, strengthening and endurance of muscles and pelvic floor, better circulation and less joint swelling, reduction of back pain and general pregnancy discomfort and it ultimately helps the mother to cope as her body changes. An added bonus is exercise speeds up the return to the pre-pregnancy body once the baby is born. Other complications such as diabetes and preeclampsia are also less prevalent.
Consider the following:
Wear loose-fitting clothes in layers for easy removal when getting hot, plus a well-fitted maternity bra and good sports shoes. Warm up well with a gradual increase of pace and intensity of the selected activity for 5-8 minutes and a gentle rise in heart rate, however, don’t exercise in high heat or humidity.
Keep moving to stop blood pooling in the extremities and putting excessive stress on the veins and heart; avoid sustained postures, for example when performing yoga. Get up from the floor slowly to allow blood pressure to optimize and prevent dizziness. Take time to cool down with gentle pregnancy-friendly stretches.
Think about maintaining good posture in daily life: standing, sitting and getting sufficient support whilst lying down. Your physiotherapist can guide you on posture, appropriate exercise, lead group sessions, give advice on common pregnancy issues and treat conditions such as back pain.
Grab a friend to exercise with to help keep you motivated, and remember that keeping fit means a healthier pregnancy and quicker postnatal recovery!
Come to our Physiotherapy clinic in Defence Colony, Delhi for a chat with one of our expert physiotherapist to plan the right Physiotherapy treatment for you to get rid of pain in no time.