Exercising during pregnancy


PDC Health Hub

Exercise is great for you, and it's great for your baby! There are a few suggested precautions to take to ensure safety for you and your baby, though. Read on to learn more from our Women's Health Exercise Physiologist, Brydie.

Exercising during pregnancy

If you weren’t exercising before you got pregnant, it’s advised that you don’t suddenly start doing strenuous exercise. But this doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t exercise! Instead, make sure you tell your instructor/trainer/exercise physiologist that you are pregnant. They will be able to guide you through safely exercising. It also advised to talk to your doctor or midwife before starting any new exercise.

A combination of aerobic and strengthening exercises is useful during pregnancy. Here's why:

Aerobic exercises, such as walking, swimming or agroup fitness class, helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness and helps to prevent excess weight gain.

Strengthening exercises, such as yoga, pilates or resistance exercises can help to prevent and reduce back pain, pelvic pain and prepare your body for birth and post-partum recovery.

Pelvic floor exercises are also important during pregnancy (and beyond!) to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which are put under a lot of pressure during pregnancy and childbirth, even if you have a caesarean.

Brydie’s top tips for exercising while pregnant include:

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear
  • Always make sure your class instructor/trainer/exercise professional is aware that you are pregnant and how many weeks you are
  • Swimming is a great way to exercise comfortably as the water takes away the weight of your growing belly
  • Don’t underestimate walking as exercise – it has minimal stress on your joints, can be done almost anywhere and it’s enough to offer benefits

Most exercise during pregnancy is considered safe, however it is recommended to avoid the following types of exercise:

  • Anything that involves laying flat on your back (the weight of your bump presses on blood vessels which can make you feel faint and reduce blood flow to your baby)
  • Contact sports due to the risk of being hit
  • Sports that involve a risk of falling such as horseriding, ice-skating, gymnastics, cycling
  • Scuba-diving – the baby has no protection from decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the blood stream)
  • Any exercise that causes your body to get too hot as this may cause your core body temperature to rise to a level that is unsafe for your baby

If you are looking for a safe place to exercise under the guidance of an experienced health professional, book in for the PDC Fitness Hub 'Mums and Bubs' class. Classes run every Friday 11-12pm, with more time slots to open up soon.

For more information about exercising during pregnancy, speak to your doctor, midwife, obstetrician or exercise physiologist.


Source: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/exercising-during-pregnancy

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