Hi everyone, Caitlin here. At Barefoot we’ve treated a lot of pregnant, soon-to-be Mum’s. While I haven’t had the benefit of going through that magical mystery tour as yet, I have had extensive training to assist our pregnant clientele. I’ve learnt a lot and want to share how staying active through during pregnancy can help you.
Pregnancy is usually an exciting and slightly anxious time. There is lots of anticipation of what is to come and all the changes along the way. Pregnancy presents unique challenges for the body and it can be tricky to manage it smoothly.
While there are different demands on the body during pregnancy, the most recent research tells us that in most cases staying gently active is valuable for the mother’s health and not detrimental to bub. The general suggestions are to not start a new form of exercise or significantly increase your exercise routine. If you have questions, always check with your doctor.
There are a few things to keep in mind though, due to the changes occurring in your body so we’ve put together our top tips for staying active during pregnancy
- Don’t overheat! Exercise at either end of the day (when its coolest) or inside in air conditioning. Take regular breaks and drink cold water to help bring your core temperature down
- For injury prevention, strength work is the most important exercise to do. Keep in mind you are going to be carrying a little human around a lot soon, so working to improve your strength will make this easier on your body when your new bub arrives.
- Look after your pelvic floor and abdominals. Pelvic floor care and rectus diastasis is a whole other blog, but quick tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid sit-ups, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy (it is too much load on your abdominals which are already stretched over a growing baby belly)
- Avoid high impact activities – this means no running, jumping or skipping from the 24 week point
- Avoid exercise that requires you to hold your breathe (think heavy squats or intense ab exercises like a plank). The increased pressure of holding your breathe puts extra load down onto your pelvic floor muscles and your abdominals as well
- Get into good habits early on – to avoid doing a “sit-up” when getting up from lying, it is best to roll to your side and then push up with your arms into sitting. Try to start doing this as early as possible to help it become a habit
See a Musculoskeletal Physio who can make sure your body is moving unrestricted, to minimise the risk of injury. Here at Barefoot we love taking care of expectant mums, all throughout their pregnancy. Click here to learn more about what we can do for you at Barefoot Physiotherapy.