The main misconception about exercising during pregnancy is whether it is safe for mother and baby. This area of research is fairly new but it is acceptable to say that a healthy woman and foetus are able to deal with a reasonable level of exercise during pregnancy. This is particularly true if a woman is already used to exercising and has a good physical condition prior to becoming pregnant. It is extremely important for a woman to be healthy and fit prior and during her pregnancy as this is the best possible scenario for good foetal development and outcome.
The advantages of moderate controlled exercise in pregnancy are thought to be:
- Reduced backache and general aches and pains, improved posture and reduction of symptoms such as constipation, varicose veins and leg cramps.
- Mother and baby’s circulation are inter-related via the placenta so anything affecting the mother’s circulation can affect the foetus.
- Control of excess weight gain and enhanced psychological well-being.
- Better circulation.
- Improved sleep patterns.
- Enhanced self-image and confidence.
- Increased body awareness.
- Positive effect on the mother’s ability to cope with labour, birth and post-natal recovery.
- A beneficial effect on the course and outcome of labour.
- A faster post-natal recovery.
There are considered to be some disadvantages too but the advantages far outweigh these and are not thought to be concerning. However, working out safely and effectively means understanding the risks and it is advisable for a pregnant woman to seek guidance and advice from a qualified instructor if at all unsure of any aspect of exercising during and after pregnancy. Furthermore, as the pregnancy advances, changes will occur that affect the type and intensity of an exercise so again supervised training is highly recommended to help prevent injury.
Changes and adaptations as a result of pregnancy may cause women to lose their confidence and sometimes the ‘feel good’ factor slowly decreases as the bump increases! Keeping or being active can provide the opportunity to experience a sense of achievement and can help in creating a positive self-image. After all a pregnant woman is not only responsible for herself but also for her growing baby and what better way to give that baby the best start in life than by making healthy lifestyle decisions and adjustments.
I can offer a wide range of training specially tailored to suit all levels of fitness. Training would include cardiovascular, resistance and Pilates.
Therefore, no matter whether you are pre, during or post pregnancy there will always be something that can be done to help you start or maintain your health and fitness regime. I would be happy to offer any advice or guidance