Pregnancy is a delicate condition when a woman needs to take some extra precautions. She has to be watchful about her diet and physical activity, right from day one. Taking good rest is important too, but it does not imply that a pregnant woman has to be confined to bed. In fact, exercise during pregnancy has scientifically proven benefits.
At the same time, it is important to understand that the one size fit all approach does not apply to pregnancy exercise routine. There are some women who can exercise till the last day of pregnancy, while others may not be allowed to exercise at all. Yet others may exercise up to some point of time. There are exercises which are regarded safe for pregnant women and others which are not. It is important to consult the gynecologist to understand these aspects of pregnancy exercise so that the woman may do it safely.
Benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy
Unless there is a complication, exercising during pregnancy is absolutely safe. In fact, it is good for the mother as well as the baby. Even if a woman has conceived after prolonged treatment, she can avail the benefits of exercise after getting a green signal from her infertility clinic. Here are some benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
- It improves the posture and relieves some posture related problems such as backache, swelling, and fatigue
- It prevents digestive problems such as constipation and bloating too
- A woman who exercises regularly during pregnancy is able to sleep better and feel less stress
- Exercise has proven benefits to lower the risk of gestational diabetes
- It increases a woman’s energy levels and improves her mood
- Exercise not only tones up her bones and muscles but also facilitates easy labor. A woman who stays active during pregnancy is easily able to get back in shape after the delivery
What kinds of pregnancy exercises are safe?
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise is regarded to bring all these benefits for a pregnant woman. Walking is regarded as the safest and most beneficial exercise during pregnancy. A pregnant woman can take a 30-minute brisk walk daily. Other safe pregnancy exercises include swimming, prenatal yoga and even low-impact aerobics. But these should be done under the supervision of an expert.
With pregnancy exercises, it is important for the woman to listen to her body and never overdo. A woman may even go for jogging if she is comfortable with it, but it should be done in moderation. Since the muscles and ligaments are loosened up due to hormonal changes, there is slightly higher risk of injury. So any exercise should be done with care. Also, those exercises which do not require much co-ordination and balance should be preferred.
Which exercises are not safe during pregnancy?
Many low intensity exercises are considered safe for pregnant women. On the other hand, there are some to be avoided as they can threaten the pregnancy. An expert gynecologist can guide her about the same. Here are some activities to avoid:
- Those which involve the risk of fall
- Those which require strenuous physical activities such as jumping, skipping, and hopping
- Activities which exert pressure on the abdominal area
- Those which need holding of breath
- Stretching and waist-twisting exercises
- Sports where there are chances of contact such as volleyball, football, and basketball
It is also not feasible to exercise when it is very hot and humid as the woman is likely to get excessively tired and dehydrated. A safe exercise plan is to be formulated in consultation with the gynecologist. At the same time, it is vital for a woman to listen to her body and stop exercising when she feels uneasy.
When should a woman not exercise during pregnancy?
Low and medium impact exercise is safe for almost all women during pregnancy. However, she should not exercise if she comes across any of the following complications:
- Vaginal bleeding/spotting during pregnancy
- Precious pregnancy
- History of premature labor
- Cervical incompetence
- History of recurrent miscarriages
- Other complications such as low placenta, heart disease, and asthma
A woman should talk to her gynecologist when she has any of these complications before she starts an exercise plan.
Regular exercise during pregnancy makes a woman’s body supple and flexible. It enables her to have easy labor and delivery. Post-partum weight loss also becomes easy for such women. A woman can resume her exercise routine two weeks after normal delivery and 3-4 weeks after a Cesarean delivery.
Gaudium IVF is one of the top IVF clinic in Delhi and is renowned for bringing the advanced treatment for male as well as female infertility. It also offers effective gynecological solutions for diverse conditions faced by women of reproductive age. The clinic counsels and educates patient on important aspects of gestational care.
Contact for a free second opinion and expert advice from Dr Manika Khanna, the top IVF Specialist in Delhi.