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Exercise During Pregnancy

The best way to prepare your body for birth is to stay moving and active during pregnancy. We encourage everyone without contraindications to pregnancy to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is safe and healthy for almost all people during pregnancy, and is also safe for your growing baby.

There are only a few reasons why you might be told to not exercise during pregnancy. If you have been told you might deliver your baby preterm, or have an incompetent cervix, or have placenta previa or significant vaginal bleeding you should restrict your activity. Also, if you have a significant medical condition you should discuss this first with your doctor before exercising.

Women and their care providers should consider the risks of not participating in exercise activities during pregnancy, including loss of muscular and cardiovascular fitness, excessive maternal weight gain, higher risk of gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension, development of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, a higher incidence of physical complaints such as dyspnea or low back pain, and poor psychological adjustment to the physical changes of pregnancy.

Reasonable goals of aerobic conditioning in pregnancy should be to maintain a good fitness level throughout pregnancy without trying to reach peak fitness or train for an athletic competition.

Women should choose activities that will minimize the risk of loss of balance and fetal trauma. Brisk walking, stationary cycling, cross-country skiing, swimming, or aquafit are aerobic exercises that cause less trauma to the joints and ligaments and less bouncing up and down of the centre of gravity. Always warm up your muscles before activity and stretch after your activity and remember to stay well hydrated and fueled (for example, with a small snack 30-60minutes prior to exercise). Avoid activities which require you to lie on your back after four months or 16 weeks of pregnancy for prolonged periods of time. This may cause light headedness and decreased blood flow to the baby. Generally speaking, if the activity is well tolerated by the mother, it is generally well tolerated by the baby.

A Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist is a great resource to discuss ways to stay active and avoid injury during pregnancy, and can be very helpful for both birth preparation and recovery. Visit Pelvic Health Solutions to find a provider in your area. 



APP (Available for download): Rost Moves Mamas



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