Path To Improved Wellness
Many women wonder if they should exercise when they are pregnant. They worry that physical activity may increase their risk of miscarriage. Later in their pregnancy, they may worry it will cause their baby to be born early or at a low birth weight. Exercise does not cause any of those things. Here are other common concerns pregnant women have about exercise.
Pregnancy Exercises: Safety Benefits & Guidelines
Overall and in most cases, exercise is safe during pregnancy. You will usually find it is even recommended. Typically, the first rule of thumb is if you were physically active before you were pregnant, it is likely safe to remain active during pregnancy. More than likely, your healthcare provider will tell you to remain active, as long as it is comfortable and there are no other health conditions suggesting otherwise.Now is not the time to exercise for weight loss, however, proper exercise during pregnancy will likely help with weight loss after the delivery of your baby. Exercise does not put you at risk for miscarriage in a normal pregnancy. You should consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine. We have more information at exercise warning signs.
Exercise When You’re Trying To Get Pregnant
If you’re wondering if it’s safe to exercise when you’re trying to get pregnant, here’s some good news: Starting a workout routine and being active is a big move in the right direction when you’re trying to conceive. Exercise, after all, plays a huge role in overall health and wellness and can help prepare your body for conception and pregnancy.
Here’s what you need to know about getting and staying fit when you’re TTC.
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Working Out Mid Pregnancy / Second Trimester
A lot of women start to have more energy and feel better by the second trimester! This trimester is when you have to start modifying exercises that can cause extra intra-abdominal pressure such as push-ups, and planks. Both of these moves should be completed on the knees or at an incline to reduce pressure and prevent a worse abdominal separation called diastasis recti. In the second trimester, you really want to focus on proper weight training to help build strength to take on the demands of labor and delivery. Even if you have never exercised or lifted a set of weights a day in your life, it is never too late. Our program takes you through a progression model that helps you identify where you are at, and how to progress to train safely and effectively.
- Continue to build strength by increasing the weight you are lifting and decreasing the number of reps.
- Continue to practice good fundamentals like core breathing and pelvic floor work.
- Start to modify moves like push-ups and planks even if you are capable of performing them.
- Be afraid to begin working out. It is never too late to start!
- Use Heart Rate to gage intensity level, use Rate of Perceived Exertion
Tip #: Use Good Timing
The best time to tell is just after people begin to suspect you might be pregnant and before they are sure. Although you are excited about your news, most women recommend against revealing a pregnancy in the early months. Be careful not to wait too long to tell, either. You dont want to give your employer any reason to think you are untrustworthy any suggestion that you concealed your pregnancy for your own gain may make you look as though you are not a team player.
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Communicate With Your Team
After you are your manager create a plan for your pregnancy, it’s helpful to communicate this with your team. Let them know who is taking over your responsibilities while you’re away. Although you’re just starting out in your new job, see if there is anything you can do to help your team prepare for your absence. Make sure you share any files or login information they may need.
How To Prepare For Starting A New Job While Pregnant
When starting a family, it can be challenging to find the right time to do so. The reality for many expecting mothers is that they may need to work during their pregnancy. If you’re in a transitional period with your career, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re successful at a new job while being pregnant. In this article, we share the importance of preparing for starting a new job while pregnant and explain how to go about it the right way.
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Determining What And How Much Exercise You Can Do
We want you to continue being active throughout your entire pregnancy. Listen to your body for what and how much you can do. You may have to vary your routine from trimester to trimester or even day to day depending on what your body tells you. If you find a certain activity triggers contractions, or you feel like youre not staying hydrated, back away from that activity. Above all, you want to keep yourself and your baby safe.
During the first trimester, you may feel nauseous. At this point, your body may be telling you that you can still run 10 miles, just like you did before you were pregnant. But if you cant keep down liquids, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. You physically may be able to run the distance, but if you cant do it safely, back off.
As you enter your third trimester, youll start to notice your center of gravity shifting. This may cause you to rethink or modify some of your activities to adjust for your expanding belly. You also may have to avoid some positions including certain yoga positions or lying on your back that can lead to hypotension or compress a major blood vessel, disrupting blood flow to your baby.
Myth Or Fact: Never Get Your Heart Rate Over 130 While Exercising During Pregnancy
Myth. There is no one “target” heart rate that’s right for every pregnant woman. “People are still stuck on this heart rate issue, and it was never based on anything concrete,” says Riley, noting that ACOG abandoned the “target heart rate” concept a long time ago. What they and most experts now rely on as a guide is RPE, or rate of perceived exertion.
“This is a scale that determines how hard you are working based on how you feel when you are working,” says Farel Hruska, certified fitness trainer and the national fitness director for Stroller Strides and their Fit To Deliver pregnancy workout program.
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How To Start A Fitness Routine During Pregnancy
In fact, it is now believed that both your babys heart and brain can be benefited through prenatal exercise, and it may serve as an earliest intervention to promote heart and brain health for an entire lifetime. Assuming youre getting regular prenatal care from a qualified practitioner, taking prenatal vitamins, and avoiding harmful substances, exercise can also boost your babys chances of being born healthy and with a safer arrival.
How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy
The only proven way to stay lean during pregnancy is to follow a healthy diet composed of all the key nutrients your body needs.
You can exercise all you want. But exercise alone will not help you stay lean if you dont watch what you eat.
It is a common misconception to think that you need to eat for two when youre pregnant.
Why would a tiny fetus need so many calories?
This is especially true in the early first trimester when your fetus is the size of a blueberry.
Here are the guidelines you should follow
First Trimester Caloric Intake:
Keep your daily caloric intake the same as usual. On average most women will need about 1800-2000 calories per day.
Second Trimester Caloric Intake:
Now that your baby is growing, this is when you will need to increase your caloric intake. But not by as much as you would think.
You only need an extra 300-350 calories per day. So in general, aim for about 2200 calories per day.
Third Trimester Intake:
The third trimester is when your baby will grow the fastest. That doesnt mean that your plate should grow fast too.
Increase your caloric intake by another 100 calories. So in total, you should be eating about 2300 calories per day.
This is the most effective way of staying lean in pregnancy.
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Get Fit Baby: How To Keep Working Out While Pregnant
Did you get some exciting news about a baby bump recently? Working out while pregnant is both important and totally possible. Heres what you need to know.
There are so many benefits that come along with working out while pregnant.
When you make an effort to exercise when youre expecting, youll pack on fewer pounds throughout the course of your pregnancy. Youll also reduce back pain, constipation, and some of the other side effects of being pregnant. And you might even make your labor and delivery go more smoothly in the end!
But despite the numerous benefits of working out while pregnant, there are many women who choose not to do it for any number of reasons. Some struggle to muster up the strength and energy for exercise, while others complain about not having enough time to do it.
Dont let these things stop you from working out while pregnant! Take a look at some tips below that will help you create and maintain a workout regimen over the next 9 months with Healthy Food for Pregnant Women.
What Are The Benefits Of Working Out During Pregnancy
Regular exercise can help ease aches and pains, prevent excess weight gain and even give you a boost of energy to keep you feeling your best during pregnancy, says Dr Coelho. She highly recommends doing Kegel exercises throughout the pregnancy and after childbirth. It will help prevent the embarrassing leaking when you laugh or sneeze due to stressie urinary incontinence, a condition common late in pregnancy that can persist after the baby comes.
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Resuming Exercise After Babys Birth
What activities you can do and when you can do them after your baby is born depends to some extent on the mode of delivery. Women who had a vaginal delivery may be able to resume physical activity days after delivery as they feel comfortable.
If you had a cesarean section, youll have a longer recovery time, but you can still be up walking that week and increase the time and distance as you feel comfortable. Narcotic pain medication can cloud your judgment and make you feel a little goofy so we dont want you exercising under those circumstances.
Research has not shown exercise to have an adverse effect on breast milk production. However, you may want to nurse before exercising if breast engorgement is an issue. And remember to stay hydrated.
If you need a little encouragement to get moving again after the birth, see if there is a community mom and baby exercise class nearby that you can join. By banding together, new moms can inspire each other to stay physically active and make their babies part of the process.
So, if you already had an exercise routine when you became pregnant, keep it up and modify it as necessary. If you werent already physically active, theres no better time than now to start for the benefit of your health and of your babys. Talk to your physician about the best way to get started.
If you want more information about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, visit our Your Pregnancy Matters blog. We publish new stories every Tuesday.
Find An Exercise You Love
It sounds simple, but one of our best workout tips is to find a workout routine you actually enjoy doing. If you arent passionate about something, your initial enthusiasm will only take you so far. After that, youre just going through the motions, often to no avail.
Our interests and goals change over time, so dont be afraid to reexamine your routine every so often to make sure its still enjoyable.
Whether you love running, biking, hiking, lifting or anything in between, find a workout that brings you alive both physically and mentally. Thats the only way to ensure you stick with it in the long run.
Still, need a little motivation to summit that mountain ahead of you? Try reaching out to a personal challenge coach who can encourage you to push ahead on your fitness journey.
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Swimming And Water Aerobics
The pool is your friend during pregnancy. The water is soothing, the exercise is low-impact, and you wont fall over. Water exercise expert Sara Haley has a helpful series of prenatal exercises that focus on building core strength.
If youre already doing water exercise, theres no need to change your routine. As in all exercise, avoid twisting your middle too much, and pay attention to your energy limits. If you get tired, its not time to push yourself its time to get out of the pool. If youre starting water exercise during pregnancy, ask a swim coach or trainer at your pool about safe routines.
Abdominal Exercises And Pregnancy
Strong abdominal muscles support your spine. The internal core and pelvic floor abdominal muscles act as a natural corset to protect the pelvis and lumbar spine. During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience the condition known as diastasis recti abdominis a painless splitting of the abdominal muscle at the midline, also known as abdominal separation. Traditional sit-ups or crunches may worsen this condition, and can be ineffective during pregnancy.Appropriate core stability exercises are recommended during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen. For example:
- Concentrate on drawing your belly button towards your spine.
- Breathe out while pulling in your belly.
- Hold the position and count to 10. Relax and breathe in.
- Repeat 10 times, as many times a day as you are able.
- You can perform this exercise sitting, standing or on your hands and knees.
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Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits
Of course, exercise during pregnancy depends largely on what your fitness level is, which trimester you’re in, and how you’re feeling, Jeffreys says. But this much is certain: The gym is a great place to be when pregnant. If one cardio machine or strength exercise isn’t comfortable, there’s always another one to try.
Getting yourself to the gym may take an extra dose of motivation, but the payoff is huge. Consistent exercise during pregnancy can minimize aches and constipation, help you sleep better, and lower your risk of gestational diabetes and depression. You may even end up having a shorter, less complicated labor. Developing good workout habits during pregnancy will help you get your body back faster after delivery too.
Whats more, exercise keeps your endorphins flowing, says prenatal trainer Erinn Mikeska, owner of Delivering Fitness, in Dallas. That’s a crucial benefit, especially since we now know that there are more mood disturbances during pregnancy than postpartum, due to the massive influx of extra estrogen and progesterone , says Melanie Poudevigne, PhD, health and fitness management program coordinator at Clayton State University, in Morrow, Georgia.
Your Labor May Be Easier
Most women who become surrogates love being pregnant, but very few will tell you that they love the actual labor part of pregnancy. This is because it isnt necessarily pain-free. The good news is that exercise can help with this: when you exercise, you strengthen your muscles, which can help to move the labor along. Make sure to strengthen your pelvic muscles and leg muscles at the same time, which will help immensely.
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What Types Of Exercises Are Best When Im Pregnant
The most comfortable exercises are those that dont require your body to bear extra weight. Swimming and stationary cycling are good options. Walking and low-impact aerobics are usually well tolerated. You can also try modified yoga or modified Pilates. You and your doctor will need to decide whats best for you and your baby.
Fuel Up Dont Exercise On An Empty Stomach And Take Lots Of Extra Water Breaks
Due to hormonal changes that make pregnant women more susceptible to blood-sugar level drops, you should always have food in your belly when getting active. You should also try to eat smaller meals throughout the day and drink more during your workouts you need it!
Have your water bottle with you and a few snacks to consume before and after your session. Its just not the time to fast, people. Eat up. Ive found that I like to exercise about one hour after a snack, then I have a protein shake when Im finished and eat another meal about two hours later. Food is my favorite!
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Make Sure Youre Getting The Right Nutrients
Eating right during pregnancy is just as important as working out. You and your baby need a long list of nutrients on an almost daily basis. During the second and third trimesters, youll also need to take in a lot more calories than you usually do.
Rather than just eating whatever you want while pregnant, you should look to eat certain types of foods that are loaded with the nutrients you need. Your diet should include:
- Dairy products, which are a great source of calcium and protein
- Legumes, which will provide you with everything from fiber and protein to iron and calcium
- Salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids
- Eggs, which are jampacked with protein, fat, and more minerals and vitamins than we can possibly list here!
- Lean meat, which contains iron, choline, and protein
There are also lots of other foods to incorporate into your diet, including certain berries, avocados, whole grains, and more.