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Active pregnancies

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Are you pregnant and wondering what kind of exercise you can do? Maybe you are pregnant and have stopped a lot of the activity you were doing through fear? Have you never done much exercise, have been told to start and have no idea where to begin?

This article is for you!

Knowledge is power, so understanding what exercise can do for you in your pregnancy is a great first step!

Remember, we are here to help so if you have any questions just let us know.

At the beginning of 2019, The British Journal of Sports Medicine and Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada published guidelines for women about what exercise they should do whilst pregnant. The goal of these guidelines was to produce evidence based recommendations which outlined what the right amount of exercise women should get through their pregnancy to promote maternal, fetal and neonatal health.

The research showed that the benefits to yours and your babies health is substantial. By participating in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week over a minimum of 3 days, the risk of pregnancy related illnesses such as depression, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia is reduced significantly.

This was a strong recommendation and looked at women who were previously inactive and those who are overweight. There are no results to show that exercise in the first trimester increases risk of miscarriage.

Moderate intensity exercise each week achieves clinically meaningful reductions in pregnancy complications. This should be over a minimum 3 days but daily activity is recommended. Currently fewer then 15% of women achieve this due to uncertainty and concerns.

Include various aerobic activities and resistance based training to get greater benefits. Gentle stretching can also be beneficial. Participating in a variety of training methods, aerobic and resistance, has greater effect then doing one kind.

  • Avoid activity in excessive heat especially with high humidity
  • Activities that involve physical contact or risk of falling should be avoided
  • Avoid altitude training if you are not used to it
  • Maintain adequate nutrition and hydration – drink water before, during and after
  • Know the reasons to stop activity

If you get abdominal separation visit a Physiotherapist and avoid abdominal strengthening exercises. Continuing aerobic exercise such as walking is associated with decreased odds of developing diastasis recti.

This should always be included as ligaments become relaxed during pregnancy due to increased hormone levels. This can impact range of movement and put you at a greater risk of injury.

Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not resolve on rest Severe chest pain Uterine contractions, vaginal bleeding or or persistent loss of fluid from the vagina Dizziness or fainting that does not resolve on rest

Previously inactive women are encouraged to start gradually, at lower intensity. You can increase this as your pregnancy develops

Adequate nutrition, sleep, stopping smoking, alcohol, marijuana and illicit drugs

These guidelines represent a fundamental shift in the view of prenatal physical activity from a recommended behaviour to improve quality of life, to a specific prescription to reduce pregnancy complications and optimise health across the lifespan of two generations.

Participating in physical activity throughout pregnancy has been shown to have a variety of health benefits including reducing depression, fewer newborn complications, reduced risk of c-section, urinary incontinence and gestational diabetes.

If you are experiencing any problems you must consultant a healthcare professional as there are contraindications which exist which should prevent you from following this advice.

We hope you have found this useful but if you do have any questions please just ask

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