Exercise during pregnancy is a vital component to maintaining both the health of you and of your baby. It has been shown to reduce some of the common ailments associated with pregnancy. It has also been shown to make labor easier and shorter.
Whether you are already an active individual or one who is taking up exercise as a way of maintaining a healthy pregnancy, please be sure to clear any activity with your physician first. In addition, there are some exercises that all pregnant women should avoid regardless of their activity level.
Exercising in the first trimester is probably going to be the easiest time to exercise during your pregnancy and the guidelines are simple.
Avoid anything that makes you feel
- Too hot
- Experience any vaginal discharge, bleeding, or pelvic pain
As your baby grows and your body changes, you might notice that it’s harder to accomplish certain tasks. You will also notice that basic exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling feel a lot better on your body than more strenuous ones.
In the second trimester, you should continue to follow the guidelines of the first trimester, along with any exercise that:
- Places you on your back
- Makes you dizzy or faint
- Gives you headaches
- Causes contractions
- Causes calf pain or swelling
Congratulations! You’re almost done. Soon your baby will be in your arms and you’ll be cross-country skiing again in no time. Just not for the next few months. ;) While you’re at it, here are a few more activities you should probably avoid until after pregnancy.
- Any contact sports (boxing, soccer, basketball, roller derby, etc.)
- Activities with a high risk of falling (skiing of any kind, surfing, off-road cycling, gymnastics, and horseback riding)
- Scuba diving
- Hot yoga or hot Pilates
In the third trimester, you should continue to avoid the restrictions from the first/second trimesters, and also avoid any activity that gives you
- Chest pain
- Muscle weakness that affects your balance
There are loads of exercise options for you to choose from to maintain a healthy lifestyle while pregnant, including, but not limited to
Pregnancy is a time to be enjoyed, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help make your pregnancy and birth a positive experience. Make sure to talk to your health care provider about any cares, concerns, or questions you may have prior to starting an exercise routine.
**Christine Santos resides in sunny Florida with her husband and 3 girls. She is the owner of Sun State Doulas and plays roller derby in her free time. She is passionate about women, childbirth, and parenting.