I’m pregnant, should I exercise? This is often a common question from expectant mothers with varying answers out there from medical professionals, celebrity personalities and family and friends. And the short answer is, with correct guidance, YES!

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend ‘women without contraindications should participate in regular aerobic and strength conditioning exercise during pregnancy 1 “.

Exercise has multiple benefits while you’re pregnant including 2,3:Pregnant Pilates exercise

  • Reducing weight gain and retention and resultant decreased risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of hypertension
  • Improved wellbeing and mental health
  • Maintaining and improving muscle mass

As pregnancy progresses, low impact exercises (such as swimming/hydrotherapy, walking, Pilates) are a great choice. Hydrotherapy can even assist if you have experienced low back pain of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, allowing more comfortable movement and exercise.

There are of course things to consider before you begin exercise during your pregnancy. Certain activities (contact sports, activities that cause imbalance, high agility activities later in pregnancy) are not suitable and should be avoided.

For many women who are a ‘High Risk’ pregnancy, often more tailored exercise can be an effective way to maintain health and fitness. Supervised exercise under the guidance of a health professional can help you ensure that you make informed decision that will benefit you and your baby.

What about my pelvic floor?

Your pelvic floor muscles are a key but often overlooked muscle group during pregnancy, taking more focus in the post-partum period. Vaginal deliveries place a great amount of stress on these muscles and the pelvic fascia (supporting connective tissue). Strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor performed during pregnancy are safe and can help in recovery after birth.2

For more advice or to get started on suitable exercise during pregnancy, have a chat to Sarah, our Women’s Health Physio.

 

  1. https://ranzcog.edu.au/RANZCOG_SITE/media/RANZCOG-MEDIA/Women%27s%20Health/Statement%20and%20guidelines/Clinical-Obstetrics/Exercise-during-pregnancy-(C-Obs-62)-New-July-2016.pdf?ext=.pdf
  2. https://www.racgp.org.au/download/Documents/AFP/2014/August/201408Lewis.pdf
  3. https://ranzcog.edu.au/womens-health/patient-information-resources/exercise-during-pregnancy

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