I have recently been asked about exercise during pregnancy; A LOT! Patients are asking, regular ole folks are asking, media is asking….in fact, I am in the process of contributing to a piece for Under Armour. Will be sure to share once that goes to print.
I mean, didn’t we all JUST see Serena Williams win the Australian Open while 8 weeks pregnant?!?
Here are my TOP 5 Things to Know About Exercise During Pregnancy:
- Just Do It! A resounding YES to exercise during pregnancy. Prior to “just diving in”, it is IMPORTANT to check in with your friendly obgyn to ensure you don’t have any medical or pregnancy contraindications. A few things that come to mind include: history of preterm labor during current pregnancy, hypertensive disorders that might be exacerbated by a rigorous exercise routine, cardiovascular/heart disease, any abnormal bleeding during the second or third trimesters….The list goes on and on. Just make sure that you check first prior to initiating an exercise routine; specifically if you weren’t an exerciser prior to the pregnancy….I’m Just Sayin’.
- If you were already exercising prior to pregnancy; i.e., running, it’s likely that you can continue your routine. Just make sure that you are hydrating, hydrating, and did I say hydrating?, as well as wearing comfortable, loose, clothing. You’ll want to avoid activities where there is an increased risk of falling or trauma/contact to the uterus.
- There are TONS of exercises that are safe to do during pregnancy such as: running, walking, modified yoga, strength training, etc. All ya gotta do is ask! There really are pretty few excuses to not exercise during pregnancy unless you have a medical or pregnancy related contraindication.
- Exercise is Good for you! Not only is it ENERGIZING but the benefits……OMG, the benefits! Can we say helps us to stave off the bad guys? You know what I’m talking about….Gestational Diabetes and Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy! How about helping you to kick ass during labor?!?!? Labor is work! What better way to prepare your body for the process? Exercise anyone? And while the benefits of exercise during pregnancy go on and on, the most obvious one would be limiting weight gain. Just think, if you exercise during pregnancy, you’ll have less weight to lose afterwards.
- Make sure you listen to your body. If you are dizzy, lightheaded, your heart rate is too elevated, REEL IT IN! These are probably signs that you are doing too much. The physiology of pregnancy is CRAZY! Your heart is working so much harder due to the increased fluid volumes it’s circulating. Did you know that your intravascular fluid volume increases by at least 50% during pregnancy? Not to mention the decreased lung capacity secondary to a uterus that’s growing and growing all the while pushing your diaphragm north!
While I know we aren’t all super athletes like Serena, exercise still benefits the normal, around the way girl!
Hoping this blog post has been both informative, and entertaining!
Until next time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.