Exercise during Pregnancy

We often get asked from our patients about exercise and pregnancy and our pre and post natal programs. So what is exactly safe and unsafe? what are the benefits and potential adverse effects? find out in this blog.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (for example brisk walking)

Examples of Safe Exercises

Pilates (Modified)

Walking

Swimming

Stationary cycling

Low impact aerobics

Yoga (Modified)

Racquet sports*

Strength training*

Running or jogging*

*Only considered safe if you regularly participated in these activities prior to pregnancy within reasonable intensity

Examples of Unsafe Exercises

Contact sports

Activities high risk of falling

Scuba diving

The Benefits

  • Prevent Gestational Diabetes

  • Reduces back pain associated with pregnancy

  • Helps with Psychological well being

  • Helps with weight management during pregnancy

  • Improve your core strength in preparation for the delivery

  • Helps you to lose the baby weight after the bub arrives

What may be some adverse effects of exercising in the wrong way?

  • Vigorous exercising such as high intensity aerobic exercise may reduce blood flow to the placenta and the baby which can cause low birth weight and preterm delivery.

  • Exercises that may put abnormal pressure on the abdominal area (e.g. sit ups, abdominal "crunches") can cause what we call Diastasis Recti or “Abdominal separation”. During pregnancy, as the baby grows and the uterus stretches out the middle of so call the “six pack” causing stretch marks and a bulge in the middle of the abdomen. This may be hard to repair after giving birth and can lead to prolonged issues with the core. It is important to know how much exercise is indicated and modified to ensure it does not happen to you.

  • Certain positions such as lying flat on your back for a prolonged period of time can cause a major blood vessel to be compressed in your stomach due to the pressure of the baby causing rapid drop in blood pressure, nausea, dizziness…etc. It is important that you have the guidance by a health professional to exercise safely.

  • During pregnancy your body produces hormones that make your joints loose in order to prepare for the delivery (especially your pelvis)! Some can cause a twist in the pelvic joint or other joints in your body. It is important that the exercises are safe and conducted in a supervised condition to avoid any injuries.

  • There are so many other factors to take into account such as Gestational diabetes leading to low blood sugar levels, history of other injuries…etc. that needs to be taken into consideration when you exercise during pregnancy.

So how can we help at Physio Room Pymble?

The therapist will take everything in to consideration including your medical, social and your activity levels. A thorough assessment will be conducted to determine what the right amount of exercise is for you. You will exercise under supervision to ensure you are safely exercising. Our groups are small and there will be more attention given to you. Inquire within at 8065 1970 for more information on our pre- and post- natal Pilates program.

- Physio Room Pymble