Your Pregnant! Congratulations!

London Personal TrainingYou've got so much ahead of you and, no doubt, you are already being inundated with pearls of wisdom, 'old wives tales' (sorry to any 'old wives') and myths too many to count.

Amongst this bombardment of well meaning information it is often difficult to determine the good from the bad and what you should do about it anyway!

Nowhere is this more evident than on the subject of exercising throughout pregnancy. Should you? Shouldn't you? If you do, what should you do?

Theories abound, but what do the experts have to say on the subject?

What follows is a summary of the recommendations of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynacology (ACOG)

The following are simple guidelines to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of you and your baby:

1. If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Moderate exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.

2. If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should consult your doctor and then start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.

3. Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you perform. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 7 (or 70%) should indicate your maximum level of exertion.

4. Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply it needs.

5. Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support. As your pregnancy proceeds you may need slightly larger shoes!

6. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.

7. Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather or poorly ventilated areas. Overheating carries increased risk to both you and your baby

8. Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur.

9. Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.

10. Weight training should emphasise improving the strength of your postural muscles. Over exerting or straining is definitely out!

11. During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves laying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb.

12. Include relaxation and stretching both before and after your exercise program.

13. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

CONTRAINDICATIONS TO EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY

HYPERTENSION
Women who have high blood pressure can benefit from a regular exercise program, however, women who develop high blood pressure in pregnancy should stop their exercise program. Toxemia, or high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy, is thought to involve a severe problem with blood vessels throughout the body. Exercise can worsen toxemia and should not be continued.

PLACENTA PREVIA/VAGINAL BLEEDING
Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta grows low in the uterus and actually covers the opening to the cervix. It can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy. Any women with placenta previa or with vaginal bleeding of an unknown cause should not participate in an exercise program.

PREMATURE LABOUR OR HISTORY OF PREMATURE LABOUR
Women who have delivered a baby before 36 weeks of pregnancy should be very cautious in participating in an exercise program during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Stretching, yoga and walking are preferred forms of exercise, while weight-bearing exercise should be avoided. Also, women with preterm contractions should avoid exercise that increases uterine contractions, whether painful or painless.

INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RETARDATION
IUGR is poor growth of the baby. This is diagnosed by your maternity care provider by measuring the growth of your uterus and by checking a fetal sonogram. If your baby has IUGR, it may mean that the baby is not getting an adequate oxygen supply from the placenta. There are many causes of IUGR including smoking, drug use, infections and poor blood flow to the placenta. Because exercise shifts blood flow away from the placenta, a baby that is not growing well will not tolerate exercise by it's mum.

TWIN PREGNANCY
Women who are pregnant with more than one fetus have a higher risk of complications or pregnancy including preterm labor. Exercise should be limited to non-weight bearing and should focus on toning and stretching.

HEART DISEASE
Exercise increases the strain on the heart, as does pregnancy because of increased blood volume. Women with heart problems should exercise only under the supervision of their cardiologist and maternity care provider.

[Please consult your doctor prior to commencing an exercise programme during your pregnancy]

DaxMoy : Personal Trainer in London