Exercise During Pregnancy by Dr. Dyanne Tappin
“Can I exercise during my pregnancy?’ “How do I stay active during pregnancy?” “Is exercise safe during pregnancy?” — These are common questions that patients ask me quite frequently during prenatal appointments.
Staying healthy and active with a good exercise routine during pregnancy is very important. I encourage my patients to stay active for both her and her baby’s health. Being active for most, if not all, days for at least 30 minutes a day can help a woman during her pregnancy by increasing her energy and helping with her mood; promoting good muscle tone, strength, and endurance; helping with sleep; and relieving common pregnancy symptoms like back pain, bloating, swelling, and constipation. It is very important to always review your exercise routine prior to and during the pregnancy with your doctor or midwife. Also there may be medical or obstetrical complications where a pregnant woman cannot be active and/or on partial or complete bedrest and these should be reviewed and followed with your provider.
Sports that are generally healthy during pregnancy include walking, swimming, cycling, and appropriate aerobics adjusted for pregnancy. A woman should remember to stay well hydrated during and after their exercise routine, wear comfortable clothing, and most important, listen to her body for warning signs. Such warning signs include: bleeding, dizziness, muscle weakness, increased cramping or contractions, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath. Any persistent and/or severe warning signs should be followed up with a woman’s provider or a woman should go directly to the emergency department. Sports that should be avoided include those that may involve falling, possible direct contact to the body, or activities that call for jumping, jarring motions, or quick changes in direction that may strain the joints and cause injury.
Stay active– Let’s keep your heart healthy during pregnancy!