There is always a lot of publicity about the dos and don’ts when it comes to food and exercise during pregnancy. Depending on what you read and where everyone will tell you differently. However, instead of eating for two full days of inactivity, why not try to do everything in moderation? That way, you can enjoy a healthy baby body, while adjusting to shape changes and weight gain. The Bump2babyscans team has surveyed the pregnant patient about her activities or exercise for a fitter baby body during pregnancy, based on that report we are writing this blog.
Remember, exercise is not dangerous for your baby; You may find that she needs to adapt her routine to suit her ever-changing body. We have created this guide full of gentle exercises for a fitter baby body, to help you stay active and enjoy your tummy.
Stomach Strengthening Exercises for a fit baby body
As your baby grows, you will feel pain in your back. This is due to an increased hollow in the lower back. Stomach-strengthening exercises like this one can help ease your pain, as well as strengthen your abdominal muscles:
- Start in the all-fours box position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- Contract your stomach muscles and lift your back toward the ceiling, bending your back and allowing your head to relax.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, before returning to the box position.
- Do this slowly and rhythmically and be sure to back up as far back as you can comfortably.
When performing this exercise, make sure you do not sag your back and that you always return to a neutral position. You should also listen to your body, moving your back only as much as you can comfortably. This exercise can be repeated gently 10 times or as per one’s body or suggested by the doctor.
Pelvic Tilt Exercises
Pelvic tilt exercises are a great example of easy and gentle exercises for a fitter baby body. As in the previous example, pelvic tilt exercises can help strengthen your abdominal muscles in preparation for labour, as well as stretch your lower back muscles.
- Stand with your shoulders and butt against the wall, keeping your knees soft.
- Pull the belly button toward your spine so your back is flat against the wall.
- Hold this for 4-5 seconds, then release.
This exercise can be repeated up to 10 times to gently strengthen.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
This exercise relates very well to the previous one, as it works to strengthen the pelvic floor. This helps you to make ready your muscles for the strain of childbirth. If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, you may leak urine when you strain, or even when you cough or sneeze. There is no need to feel embarrassed about this, as this is very common during pregnancy. Exercising like this helps reduce or avoid stress incontinence after pregnancy.
- Start by squeezing your butt muscles and contracting your urethra and vagina as if you were clutching a tampon, or desperate to go to the bathroom.
- At first, do this exercise as quickly as possible, contracting and relaxing your muscles immediately.
- Then slow down and keep it that way for as long as you can.
Try 3 sets of 8 per day to keep your muscles strong. If it helps to set an alarm or make them with every meal so you don’t forget. Along with these exercises, you should also practice tensing your pelvic floor muscles when coughing or sneezing, as well as before. Even if you are not experiencing stress incontinence now, all pregnant women should do these exercises to strengthen their muscles for delivery and beyond.
Here are some exercises to avoid
- You should avoid contact sports that have a risk of being hit such as kickboxing, judo, squash and many more.
- Avoid exercising at high altitudes (more than 2,500 above sea level), as this could cause both mother and baby to suffer from altitude sickness.
- Avoid fall risk activities such as horse riding, ice hockey, cycling, etc.
- These may seem obvious, but here’s one you might not have thought of: Starting at 16 weeks, don’t exercise lying on your back. This is because the weight of your lump can put pressure on your main blood vessel, pushing blood back to your heart; this can make you feel dizzy.
Some Important Safe Exercise Tips for a Fitter Baby Body
As with any form of exercise, you should always warm-up and cool down before and after. It is also important to stay hydrated and get enough rest when you need it.
Also, you must stay in contact with your body; If you weren’t active before pregnancy, you shouldn’t suddenly start the strenuous exercise. The general rule of thumb for exercising during pregnancy is that you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. If you are out of breath while talking, you are probably exercising too much; you should consider adapting your exercises to your needs, or taking a break if necessary. If you are ever in doubt, contact your midwife or healthcare expert for consultation.
Besides, if you attend exercise classes or follow them online, you must let your teacher know that you are pregnant or that you consult the exercises beforehand. This is because not all exercises are suitable for pregnant women; A qualified instructor will be able to inform you of possible accommodations or alternative exercises.
In general, exercise doesn’t have to stop just because you’re pregnant, you just have to listen to your body and put your safety first. Trying to incorporate chunks into your daily routine can help ensure a happier and fitter baby body, which in turn creates a happy baby!
Looking for further pregnancy advice? bump2babyscans is here for you.