Can I exercise during my pregnancy?
This is the biggest question I get asked! My answer: Of course you can! Being pregnant and going through labour is a bit like running a marathon, and you would never just do a marathon without preparing, exercising, and having some idea of what you’re getting into. A client of mine was seeing her OBGYN in the later stages of her pregnancy and was asked if she had any other medical issues and she replied with “asthma, but only when exercising.” Her OBGYN looked at her dumbfounded and said “well what do you think you’re about to do? have your inhaler with you during labour!”
So yes preparing your body with exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself. I firmly believe you can exercise during your pregnancy unless you have been told otherwise by your OBGYN for medical reasons. Having said that, your exercise will look a little different. It will be more gentle and slow, the focus will be on staying active, movement, gentle stretches, stabilizing strength and especially pelvic floor exercises. If you have been exercising at a high level prior to your pregnancy then keep doing it. The biggest thing is to listen to your body, you will know when it no longer feels comfortable. That’s when you need to stop and change the focus e.g. walk instead of run, lower your weights or take up something like pilates and yoga. Remember you know your body better than anyone!
I'm Melanie, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
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