Exercising is important during your pregnancy in order for you to stay fit and healthy and to have a safe delivery. Other benefits include relieving back pain, reducing constipation, preventing wear and tear in your joints and helping you sleep better.
However, while exercising has many benefits, you need to take care that you don’t injure yourself or your baby. If you exercised regularly prior to conceiving you can continue with your routine, making the obvious adjustments. Keep in mind that, while most exercises are safe enough for you to do, there are a few exceptions. These include any routines that involve bouncing, leaping or a sudden change in direction.
When you are pregnant your centre of gravity is off centre making it easier for you to fall. This means you need to avoid any activities that put you at risk of losing your balance, such as tennis or horse riding. Expectant mothers should also avoid contact or collision sports that could cause injuries to the stomach like football, rugby or hockey.
Scuba diving is also one to avoid as it increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.Nitrogen gas bubbles may also form in your baby’s bloodstream damaging their development.
When you are exercising, it is important that you stay well hydrated as a high temperature can also increase your baby’s chances of being born with a defect. Always drink plenty of water and avoid swimming in water that is above 32 degrees.
Once you have reached the 16 week mark you should avoid doing exercises that involve lying on your back with your feet raised, as you may become dizzy.
If you did not regularly exercise prior to giving birth it doesn’t mean that you can’t start. However, you need to take things slow and try to build it up gradually. Take up something that you like so that you will stick with it even after your baby arrives.
You must always consult with your doctor if you are suffering from pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, early contractions, vaginal bleeding or if your waters break early.