It is important for expectant mothers to keep active and fit during pregnancy. As your baby grows, you will need to be able to support the increasing weight as well as maintain the stamina to go through actual labour itself. Exercise also helps to reduce the risk and severity of gestational diabetes.
However, exercising should be something enjoyable for you. If it comes to a point when you are not enjoying it or starting to feel discomfort in any way, you should scale down or stop.
Contraindications to exercise: vaginal bleeding, risk of preterm labour, cervical incompetence, multiple pregnancy, known low lying placenta. Also avoid exercise if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that will bar a pregnant woman from exercising.
During pregnancy, the body anatomy is different and ligaments soften due to the pregnancy hormones. Mums must be careful not to over stretch or have sudden movements that may cause ligament injuries. Balance is also an issue.
Remember to go easy on yourself. The aim is to maintain fitness, not to attain new fitness levels.
Aerobic fitness (for cardiovascular fitness) and resistance exercises ( for flexibility and strength training).
Generally advise avoiding exercise in first trimester for women who have been sedentary all this while (not for any medical reason but generally anxiety during the first trimester with regards to miscarriages and most women don’t feel so well during that phase to exercise as well)
No contact sports, scuba diving, high speed sports like skiing. Also avoid abdominal crunches, dead lifts or any exercise in a supine position.
The intensity of the exercise may need to reduce depending on how they feel. Remember, it should be about maintaining some fitness not attaining new levels).
Instead of brisk walking, walking might be good enough or even a slow stroll in the evening.
Ideally exercise for 30 minutes. At least 3 times per week. Heart rate should be 60-90% of maximal heart rate or RPE 4-5 (can converse comfortably or can converse but requiring a little effort).
Keep exercise to 30 minutes and in an environment that is not too hot. It is a good idea to get clearance from your doctor to make sure you are fit for exercise.
Exercise should be enjoyable for you. Stop if you are feeling abdominal discomfort, too uncomfortable, breathless, faint or nauseous.
Also stop immediately if medical issues like vaginal bleeding or leaking liquor, preterm contractions arises.
If you feel pain from the exercises, it could be overstretching of ligaments or muscle injury. Stop and allow pain to disappear before resuming carefully. If it is not because of ligament injury, you can continue with stretching/flexibility exercises. Prenatal yoga is a great option.
The common myth or fear is that exercising can cause miscarriages or early delivery, which is not true. However many women choose to not risk it unless if they really enjoy exercising, especially if family and most friends around are advising against it.
Established in 2011, SOG Health Pte. Ltd. (“SOG”) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated to delivering holistic health and wellness services to the modern family.
With a long and established track record in Singapore providing Obstetrics and Gynaecology (“O&G”) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include Paediatrics, Dermatology, and Cancer-related General Surgery (Colorectal, Breast & Thyroid).
The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Cancer-related and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.
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