Should I Exercise during PregnancyExercise During Pregnancy
Exercise during pregnancy provides numerous benefits to both expectant mothers and their Fetuses. For the mothers, exercise improves fitness, prevents urinary incontinence and back pain, and lessens swelling and constipation. It improves energy, mood and sleep; promotes muscle strength and endurance; helps to prevent risk of gestational diabetes and promotes a faster labor. Further more, women who are more active during pregnancy are more likely to continue their commitment to physical activity once their child is born. Infants of exercising mothers tolerate the stress of labor better and are more alert and are less irritable immediately after delivery. Exercise is not associated with decreased birth weight or preterm delivery.
Most sports can be continued during pregnancy but downhill skiing, contact sports (hockey, basketball, soccer etc.), sports with increased risk of falling (gymnastics, horse riding etc.) are specifically discouraged by ACOG.
Exercise Recommendations :-
Exercise recommendations for women during pregnancy are based on the women’s pre - pregnancy exercise regime and gestational age, as shown below :-
Previously Sedentary, Overweight, or obese
|1-6 weeks||Most, if not all (at least 3-5 days a week)||12-15||Approx 30 mins moderate or 60 min light most days||Aerobic, large muscles group (eg stationary cycling, walk, jog)|
|6-26 weeks||15-16||Approx 45 mins moderate or 90 mins light most days|
|27-40 weeks||13-14||Approx 30 min moderate or 60 min light most days|
|Throughout||1-2 days||1-2 sets||8-10 exercises||Muscular Strengthening|
Previously Healthy and Active
|1-6 weeks||4-6 days per week||13-15||Approx 45min moderate or 30 min moderate - vigorous most days||Aerobic, large muscles group (eg stationary cycling, walk, jog)|
|6-26 weeks||15-16||Approx 60 mins moderate|
|Vigorous or 40 min vigorous or 40 min vigorous most days|
|27-40 weeks||14-15||Approx 30 mins moderate vigorous most days|
|Throughout||1-2 days||15-20 repetitions||8-10 exercise||Muscular Strengthening avoid free weights, do not lie on back|
All women should use their own feelings of comfort in guiding exercise during pregnancy. Likewise exercise should be terminated immediately if a women develops vaginal bleeding, dizziness or feeling faint, increased shortness of breath , chest pain, headache, muscle weakness, calf pain or swelling, uterine contraction, decreased fetal movement , or leakage of fluid.
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Exercise during pregnancy provides numerous benefits to both expectant mothers and their Fetuses.
For the mothers, exercise improves fitness, prevents urinary incontinence and back pain, and lessens
swelling and constipation.