Oxford Consulting Services: Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy

Experts agree, when you’re expecting, exercise is important.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG ) recommends at least 20 to 30 minutes a day on most or all days as it reduces the risk of gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), having a high birth weight baby, and the need for a cesarean section. It may also improve the baby’s brain development.

Pregnant women who exercise also tend to have less back pain, more energy, and are more likely to have an easier labor and delivery experience and return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.

Here are 5 tips for working out while pregnant:

1.  Avoid dangerous sports. Perhaps more important than knowing which exercises to do is knowing which ones to avoid. Pregnant women should avoid contact sports such as basketball or soccer or activities that may cause you to fall such as downhill skiing, horseback riding, surfing, or mountain biking. Scuba diving should also be avoided because although there isn’t any conclusive evidence to determine the effects, the change in pressure might impact baby’s development.

2. Hydrate. It’s important to drink water before, during, and after exercising. Otherwise, you risk a reduction in the amount of blood going to the placenta. Dehydration can also increase your risk of overheating or even trigger contractions.

3. Don’t lie flat on your back. After the first trimester, avoid exercising while lying flat on your back. The weight of your uterus puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which can reduce blood flow to your heart, brain and uterus, leaving you dizzy, short of breath or nauseated.

4. Eat enough. Most moms-to-be need around 300 extra calories a day during pregnancy, so make sure you’re not burning too much off during your workouts.

5. Get the right gear.  Opt for loose-fitting and breathable clothing. You can also dress in layers so it’s easy to peel off a layer or two after you’ve warmed up or if you get overheated. Also make sure your maternity bra is supportive enough, and choose athletic shoes that fit properly.


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