Although the benefits of exercise during pregnancy are numerous and well documented, for a lot of women, there is still an underlying fear of hurting yourself or your unborn baby.
But not only is it safe to exercise during your pregnancy, it’s actually recommended! According to the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, pregnant women should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise (or a combination of both) each week.
Here are just some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy -
Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing post natal depression and improve mood during pregnancy
Reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes
Long term insulin resistance post pregnancy and increased risk of type 2 Diabetes
Reduce the likelihood of developing pregnancy related high blood pressure
Reduce the risk of developing Pre-Eclampsia (high blood pressure and damage to the kidneys and/or liver)
Control maternal weight gain
Improve pelvic floor function
Excess weight gain during pregnancy is associated with a lot of long term health risks that will affect both mother and baby and can include -
Fetal Macrosomia - a newborn who's significantly larger than average (over 4kg)
Labour and birth complications
Increased risk of urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy
How do I know it is safe to exercise?
While there are many benefits of exercise during pregnancy, every mother and her pregnancy journey is different. It is important to get advice from your medical team, as well as an exercise professional who has experience working with expecting mothers.
What kind of exercise should be avoided?
For pregnant mums who are eager to exercise , it is important to acknowledge that pregnancy may require significant changes in exercise routines. This might mean involve avoiding, modifying or reducing the intensity of what you are accustomed to in order to ensure your safety and the safety of your child.
High impact exercise (running, jumping etc.), contact sport or exercise that has a high risk of falls (e.g horse riding or skiing) should be avoided. Forms of exercise such as walking, stationary cycling, low impact forms of dance, light resistance exercises, pelvic floor exercises and water based exercise have been proven to be not only safe but highly beneficial. However, it is important to acknowledge that every mum will be different and will therefore require expert, evidence based guidance when it comes to exercise.
If you are expecting and want to know more about what exercise is safe for you and your baby, contact us on 8969 6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org