Exercise During Pregnancy
This week on Mamalette.com we received a question from a reader asking about what exercises she can do while pregnant.
The responses provided by other readers were both positive and negative, as it appeared that the pregnant reader was more concerned about not getting fat because of her spouse rather than her health and that of her unborn child.
Though uncommon in Nigeria, exercise during pregnancy is usually not frowned upon by medical experts as exercise during pregnancy is thought to be beneficial for both mother and baby.
Some studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman's risk of complications, like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Exercise during pregnancy might also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related high blood pressure, as well as lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression. In addition, it might reduce the risk that your baby is born significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia).
A team of UK researchers have found that moderate exercise may help women avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?
Before you being any exercise program, it is important to consult with your doctor. Women who have high risk pregnancies or certain health conditions should not begin any exercise regime without their doctor's consent.
- Low-impact aerobics
- Weight training
How To Exercise During Pregnancy?
Common sense is the best approach while pregnant during exercise. Here are some general guidelines to consider for an exercise program:
- Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
- Don’t exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your doctor advises you to.
- Try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can't manage that, any amount is better than nothing
- Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids
- Don't lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your baby presses on the main blood vessel bringing blood back to your heart and this can make you feel faint
- As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you're probably exercising too strenuously.