A smiling pregnant woman sitting on a fitness ball in a gym while relaxing and holding her belly.

During the 9 months of pregnancy, your body is busy adapting to your growing bump at the front, and let me tell you, nature does a brilliant job at making subtle changes to your anatomical and physiological state to accommodate it.

 

Your balance is sometimes thrown off, your back changes position, you may/may not have issues with pelvic pain, and fingers crossed, if you keep training your pelvic floor muscles with Pilates-based exercise, you’ll not suffer with stress incontinence after birth either.

 

Today, I’m going to list a few guidelines associated with exercising during pregnancy, and in particular when it’s important you take care:

 

1.    Stretching – It’s important to stretch, but not over-stretch during pregnancy, because your pregnancy hormones increase ligament and tendon flexibility.

 

2.    Avoid high intensity / strenuous exercise – Ensure you lower the intensity of your workouts as you pregnancy develops.  NB – This does not mean put your feet up, it means keep moving, but at a lower level.

 

3.    Avoid bouncing / jerking movement – And to add to this, wear a good supportive bra when exercising.  It’s amazing how much your breasts grow and move.

 

4.    Pelvic Girdle Pain – Reduce your chances of suffering with pelvic/back pain by doing Pilates, and avoid exercises where you’re standing on one leg.

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5.    Lying on your back – Avoid this after your 13th week of pregnancy.

 

6.    Eat right – A good, balanced diet is essential not just for you, but for your unborn baby too.  If you feel light-headed when exercising, sit down.

 

7.    Tiredness / fatigue – Stop exercise if you feel tired or fatigued; pregnancy is not the time to overdo things.

 

8.    Avoid overheating – Exercise indoors, stay cool and drink plenty of water.

 

9.    Avoid lifting heavy objects – Particularly lifting things over your head as this can dramatically increase your blood pressure.

 

10. Avoid sit ups / curls – Do core-training training instead which is much safer and less strenuous on your abdominals and pelvic floor.

 

A non-exhaustive list of tips here, obviously, but an informative and helpful one all the same, I hope you’d agree.

 

If you’d like further advice on staying safe during pregnancy, and ensuring your body is in tip-top shape for labour, childbirth and beyond, click here.