Exercising while Pregnant

Author: Yehuda Shoenfeld

Doing exercises while your pregnant is essential to avoid complications like pre-eclampsia or severe hypertension during pregnancy, gestational diabetes, premature labor and the like. Aside from that, you are also able to keep a healthy body whilst pregnant, keeping high energy levels and voiding back pain, weight gain excessively, insomnia and even stress.

But before jumping in to your exercise regimen, there is a great need to consult the OB-GYNE first to determine which exercises are contraindicated or not. Consulting the expert is essentially important when you have:

- Diabetes
- High blood pressure or pre-eclampsia
- Pregnancy related anemia or low hemoglobin
- Expecting twins or triplets
- Have lung problems, heart problems and even muscle problems
- If you are underweight or overweight
- You have had premature delivery or miscarriage in the past.

Do's and Don'ts in exercising during pregnancy

Guidelines are set in for a safe exercise while pregnant. The Do's include:

1. Pelvic exercises are important during pregnancy to help widen the hips and have an easier delivery.
2. Recommended exercises are swimming, walking, tai chi and yoga. The last two should be under supervised classes.
3. A recommended 30 minute exercise per day is enough to keep a healthy pregnancy.
4. Never forget to listen to your body. If you feel have headache, dizzy or develops shortness of breath, stop exercise immediately.
5. If you are lifting weights, use lower weights and a maximum of medium repetition. Experts suggest do moderating weight lifting and avoiding straining so that there is an uninterrupted flow of oxygen in your body and to the fetus.

The Don'ts

1. Avoid rigorous exercises and a maximum of three sessions a week should only be allowed.
2. No contact sport should be done during pregnancy duration.
3. Sit-ups and abdominal crunches should be avoided because it may stress your rectus abdominis which is the outmost muscle connecting the pubic bone and the breast bone. Forward-hinging should also be avoided because it increases the risk of heartburn or dizziness.

References: Antiphospholipid syndrome: clinical and immunologic manifestations and patterns of disease expression in a cohort of 1,000 patients R Cervera, JC Piette, J Font, MA Khamashta, Y Shoenfeld, MT Camps Arthritis & Rheumatism: Official Journal of the American College of 2002