Exercise during Pregnancy
Benefits of regular exercise in Pregnancy:
• Reduce pregnancy related aches and pains
• Helps to maintain a heathy weight
• Helps to reduce your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes
• Help you to get a better nights sleep
• Helps improve your mood and self esteem
What type of exercise is safe during pregnancy and how often should I be exercising?
• Due to the hormonal and musculoskeletal changes that occur during pregnancy it is recommended that you participate in low impact cardiovascular exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling.
• It is important that you do not exercise continuously for more than 45 minutes as it can make your core body temperature too hot and this can potentially affect the baby.
• Exercise should be performed on most days of the week for around 30-45 minutes.
Signs and Symptoms to Stop Exercising
• Dizziness or feeling faint
• Shortness of breath
• Vaginal bleeding or fluid loss from your vagina
• Chest, leg or stomach pains
Physiotherapists have an important role in helping women prepare for childbirth. A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can provide advice on active birth positions to help with labor and also help to advise you on what positions to use and avoid with pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain.
Mastitis is inflammation of the milk ducts. The inflammation is the result of milk flowing backwards through the ducts and into the breast tissue.
This is due to an increase in pressure in the milk ducts. Breast milk contains protein. When the milk enters the breast tissue, the protein is recognized as “foreign” and creates an inflammatory response in this tissue.
Exercise in the Post Natal period
What happens to the body during pregnancy and the post partum period?
During pregnancy and childbirth the body undergoes a significant amount of musculoskeletal and hormonal changes. These changes affect the body by weakening and stretching the abdominal, back and pelvic floor muscles. This results in an increased risk of joint and ligament injuries within the body. Breastfeeding also increases the size of their breast tissue as a result of hormonal changes and milk production.
Return to Sport and Exercise Guidelines
• Pelvic floor exercises
• Basic abdominal exercises
• Recommended 6 week Post Natal Check with Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
• Increase the intensity, change position for pelvic floor exercises
• Abdominal exercises
• Can start some light cardiovascular exercise provided you have no signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction
· X-trainer, bike, rower
· Low impact aerobics
· Narrow squats, lunges, push-ups, and dips
• Further assessment of pelvic floor with Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, assessing to see if pelvic floor is ready to start higher impact exercise
• If your pelvic floor is ok, you can start to incorporate:
· Jogging, skipping, running, return to sport specific drills