Exercise and Pregnancy
Exercising throughout pregnancy has been fuzzy, foggy area for many mothers.
Can I exercise?
Should I exercise?
What kind of exercises should I do?
Unfortunately medicine has been a little slow on changing the recommendations to what we know to be true...exercise is GOOD!
Great news, a paper came out in 2021 titled Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy: Guideline Critical Appraisal and Implentation Tool. This paper goes over the 20129 Canadian guideline for physical activity throughout pregnancy, which uses evidence based recommendations to promote the health of mom and baby.
So what are these recommendations? Let's dive in!
First and foremost, the contraindications...
There are two types of contraindications, absolute and relative. Absolute means under no circumstance should you be participating in a treatment if you fall in these categories. Relative contraindications means you may be able to do the treatment, but caution and review with your doctor is important.
Absolute contraindications for exercise and pregnancy include:
Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding
Uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension or thyroid
For relative contraindications:
Recurrent pregnancy loss
If you are clear of these, you may engage in exercise, but keep the below in mind while you are participating in physical activity.
Stop and contact your doctor right away if...
Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not get better with rest
Severe chest pain
Regular and painful uterine contractions
Persistent loss of fluid from the vagina
Persistent dizziness or faintness that does not resolve with rest
When planning your exercise or activity, keep these things in mind...
Avoid excessive heat, especially with high hunitidy
Avoid contact sports, or sports with danger of falling
Avoid scuba diving
Avoid training at altitude if never done so
Maintain adequate nutrition and hydration
Ok, you know you can exercise and now what to watch out for. So without further ado, here are the recommendations!
All women (without contraindications) are encouraged to be physically active throughout their pregnancy
Pregnant women should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week to see the health benefits and reductions of pregnancy complications
Activity should happen at 3 times a week, with daily being even more benefical
Aerobic and resistance training activity is encouraged, yoga is also beneficial
Pelvic floor work can be performed daily, bonus points if you see a Pelvic Floor PT or chiro!
If an exercise performed on her back begins to induce light headiness, nausea or unwell feeling, modify that exercise.
If you are trying to conceive, pregnant or post-natal, schedule an appointment with me and we can go over a program specific for you and your needs!