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.
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.