In the early days of pregnancy, many mothers-to-be worry about miscarriage. These worries range from what they can and cannot eat to whether they can or cannot exercise. However, unless your pregnancy is complicated, exercise during pregnancy can be beneficial for both you and the baby.
Your baby is secure inside your womb, so you don’t have to worry about them being shaken around as you exercise. However, you can do low-impact exercises like walking and gentle swimming if you are not entirely convinced.
If you have any medical concerns or complications during your pregnancy, consult your doctor or midwife before you exercise.
Miscarriage and exercise during pregnancy
What causes miscarriage?
A woman may miscarry her unborn child for a variety of reasons. These may be completely unrelated to exercise. Examples are:
- Older maternal age
- Infections, diseases and autoimmune disorders
- Serious physical injury
- Hormone issues or chromosomal defects
Exercises you shouldn’t be doing
There are, however, some exercises which you should DEFINITELY avoid when you are pregnant, like:
- Sports where your belly could be hit, like football, rugby, hockey and martial arts, which can cause complications during the pregnancy.
- Physical activities that present a risk of falls, such as skiing or horse riding.
- Exercises that involve a massive amount of jumping, hopping, skipping or bouncing.
- Exercises that involve twisting your waist while you stand
- Strong bursts of exercise followed by long sedentary periods
Overheating can also cause some problems during pregnancy. Avoid exercises in a very hot environment, like Bikram yoga.
If you’re spending time in a hot climate that you are not used to, give yourself a few days to get used to the temperatures.
Warning signs of when its time to stop exercising
Apart from the exercises pregnant women should avoid, you can do just about most exercises. The important thing to note when exercising, is to listen to your body.
Stop exercising when you experience these symptoms:
- Irregular bleeding
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Chest pain
All negativity aside, exercising can be a great way to keep both you and your baby healthy, make your pregnancy easier and relieve some of the difficulty that comes with labour.
The benefits of exercising
During pregnancy, exercising can:
- Help you sleep better
- Reduce varicose veins, swollen feet and tiredness
- Reduce anxiety and boost your mood
- Reduce high blood pressure or diabetes, which means less risk for your baby
- Reduce labour time with fewer complications
- Help you manage your weight during pregnancy and lose any extra weight after the baby is born
- Reduce constipation
- Improves posture
- Promote muscle tone, strength and endurance, which can help during labour
- Helps prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
Make sure you exercise safely
Worry is constant, so try to include these guidelines in planning your exercise routine during pregnancy:
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes
- Make sure that you choose shoes that fit well and which are designed for the type of exercise you are doing
- Exercise on a flat, level surface
- Eat enough healthy calories
- Don’t eat at least one hour before exercising
- Drink plenty of water and fluids
Exercise is very rarely the cause of a miscarriage. However, make sure you are avoiding exercises like contact sport and are including the right safety measurements when exercising. If your pregnancy has complications or you are still unsure if it is safe to exercise, consult your doctor or midwife. Want to know more about exercise during pregnancy? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Exercise and Pregnancy Course will tell you all that you need to know! For more information about this and our other online fitness courses, visit our website.