Exercise During Pregnancy

by Michelle Wright (Mishfit)

Being fit and exercising during pregnancy is an excellent way to approach both your labour and put you in the best position to meet the demands of motherhood. There are many factors to consider when deciding what type of exercise during pregnancy you can do. The hormone relaxin is released in your body during pregnancy to make your joints and ligaments more relaxed for the upcoming labour and perfect for exercise during pregnancy. However, this hormone is not released gradually, but in big bursts. These hormone bursts are generally around 12- 14 weeks, around 20 weeks and then again around 36 weeks. Some women report that they can actually feel like they can stretch further. While this is fabulous for delivery when we need to stretch to allow the baby to pass through, we do need to be aware how this affects how we exercise. Overstretching during the times when the relaxin burst is at its most intense can cause pain through the pelvis. This pain can be felt at either the pubis symphasis joint (at the front of the pelvis) or around the lower back and down the legs. With the growing weight of the baby bearing down on these overstretched ligaments can in some cases, put women in complete bed rest or mean that even walking can be a painful challenge. Prevention is much better than the cure! Exercise during pregnancy can also put in the best position to lose baby weight following the birth. Here are some very simple tips to keep your pelvis safe and pain free during your pregnancy.

  1. Avoid lunges, step classes or any “uneven” leg exercises particularly at those specific times during pregnancy when those relaxin bursts are due. Squats are a much better option
  2. Be mindful of other activities that wrench open the pelvis – like getting in and out of the car or bed by swinging one leg out at a time. Think “tight mini skirt and no knickers” and this will see you moving safely!
  3. Compression wear that is specifically designed to support your pelvis and lower back (spanks don’t do it!) are perfect to keep your pelvis safe and pain free
  4. Don’t ignore the niggles – if you feeling any pain in your pelvis, seek help from a physiotherapist – a little attention now, may avoid a whole lot of pain later
  5. If you have pelvic instability – there are support networks that you may like to contact. The Pelvic instability association who have a whole lot of information on their website. And Support for mums is another option for short term practical help, if your pelvic pain is stopping you from your daily chores.

It is vitally important to both listen to your body and ensure that your exercise provider knows that you are pregnant and has had the training to safely guide you through this special time in your life.   For more information of safe pregnant and post-natal exercise options, please visit Mishfit or click here to find your local pregnancy post natal specialist.[block id=”love-stuff-share”]

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