Although there will be times when you don’t feel like doing anything, the fact is that keeping up an exercise regime whilst pregnant will make the nine months a much easier time for you, and will also help you preparing for labour and enabling you to get back into shape after the birth of your child. Naturally, you need to take care, and some exercises such as lifting heavy weights are definitely to be avoided, but gently daily exercise such as walking or gentle swimming will help you to keep in shape. Here are some good things to remember when adjusting your routine;
Don’t Overdo It
As you get further into your pregnancy, you will not be able to exercise as vigorously as in the early stages and it is important to accept this fact and ease up a little. Try not to get out of breath when exercising, and if you find that you are, and then slow down a little.
If you have not been doing regular exercise before your pregnancy, make sure that you ease yourself into your exercise regime gently and easy. If you are doing an organised class, make sure that the tutor is aware of the pregnancy.
Under no circumstances should you take part in physical contact sports or risky sports such as cycling where you may fall and suffer injury and damage, both to yourself and your unborn child.
Target Your Exercise
Try these simple exercises at home to help you through your pregnancy by strengthening
key areas that can become problematic:
To strengthen your stomach muscles, kneel on all fours with your knees under your hips and hands level with your shoulders whilst keeping your back straight. Slowly raise your back to the ceiling by pulling in your stomach muscles allowing your head to relax. Don’t go too far and lock your elbows. Hold this for a few seconds and then return to the original position. Do this gently for about ten seconds and then relax.
To aid your pelvis, stand with your bottom and shoulders against the wall, keeping your knees nice and relaxed. Pull your stomach up towards the spine with your back flat against the wall. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat this approximately ten times.
To strengthen the pelvic floor, squeeze the anus muscles (imagine you are trying to stop flatulence!) and draw in the vagina as though you are trying to grip something with it. Initially, do these quickly, but as you get more practised at it, try to hold for a few seconds before releasing. If you do this at least three times a day, you should find that you have fewer problems after the birth of your child.
Beth Foster writes on all things related to health and wellbeing. To read more of her work head over to Casa Health where you can avail yourself of a wide range of expert advice.