Exercise during pregnancy
Throughout your pregnancy it is safe and beneficial to participate in gentle exercise 3-4 times a week for periods of 20 to 30 minutes.
There are some situations where exercise may not be advised such as pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, placenta praevia, multiple pregnancy or pelvic instability. The doctor will advise you if exercise is not suitable during your pregnancy.
Exercise in normal pregnancy can provide great benefits including:
- Maintaining fitness
- Assisting in weight control
- Strengthening your back & abdominal muscles to increase core strength as your baby & abdomen grows
- Improved sleep and less fatigue
- Can help to prevent constipation, a common occurrence during pregnancy
- Helps to prepare and aid your body for the labour & birth of your baby
There are a number of types of exercises that you can participate in safely throughout your pregnancy including:
- Swimming (as long as not in a pool heated above 28°C)
- Water Aerobics (not in water above 28°C)
- Yoga or Pilates specifically designed for pregnancy
- Low-impact exercise such as riding an exercise bike
- Strengthening exercises for your lower back, abdominal & pelvic floor muscles
You should avoid contact sports or any exercise where you can be susceptible to abdominal impact or falls.
It is recommended that if participating in exercise you remember to drink water before, during and after exercise.
It is best not to increase your heart rate above 120 beats per minute.
If at any point during exercise you feel breathless, faint or overly fatigued you should stop immediately and rest.
You should notify Dr Bonazzi or a practice midwife if any of the following occur after exercise:
- Blood or fluid leaking from the vagina
- Chest pain or rapid heart beat
- Uterine contractions
- Abdominal, vaginal or pelvic pain
- Decreased foetal movements