According to the “2019 Canadian Guidelines for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy”, in general physical activity is associated with greater benefits and “has been proposed as a preventative or therapeutic measure to reduce pregnancy complications and optimise maternal-fetal health”.
Women who were active prior to pregnancy are encouraged to continue exercising with appropriate modifications and going by how they feel at all times. Those women who were inactive before pregnancy are encouraged to start exercising during pregnancy, starting at lower intensity and progressively increasing the intensity and duration of the exercise to their tolerance.
Always be sure to get the go ahead from a medical professional beforehand as there are several contraindications to exercise while pregnant that must not be ignored.
Click the link below for the full article with a comprehensive list of all contraindications.
Physical activity recommendations for pregnant women:
All women without contraindications should be physically active throughout pregnancy
A good goal is to aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of “moderate intensity” exercise (being able to maintain a conversation during that exercise) spread out over at least 3 days a week.
Being active everyday is encouraged
Exercises should be varied, including aerobic and resistance work. Yoga/ stretching can also be added.
Doing daily “pelvic floor muscle training”, for example Kegel exercises, may help decrease urinary incontinence.
If feeling unwell, light-headed, or nauseated while exercising, specifically when laying on the back, the exercise should be modified to resolve the symptoms. For example, doing the exercises side lying rather then laying on back.
Maintain proper hydration and nutrition before, during and after any activities.
When to stop exercising and seek help from a medical professional:
Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not resolve on rest.
Regular and painful uterine contractions
Amniotic fluid leakage
Dizziness or fainting that does not resolve on rest
Are there any exercises that should be avoided during pregnancy?
Put simply Yes.
Avoid exercising in excessive heat and/ or humidity (for example hot yoga), activities involving physical contact or possibility of falling eg. scuba diving and skiing. Physical activity above 2500m or high intensity/ competitive exercises should be discussed with obstetric care beforehand.
For more information or to arrange a pregnancy consultation contact the clinic on 057 8678904.
Pregnancy can be a daunting time for any woman with each pregnancy being different and new hurdles may crop up throughout. So it’s important to be as prepared as you can be both physically, emotionally and mentally, in order to deal with everything that may come as best you can.
Here are a few things that I commonly tell my mums when it comes to physical well being.
I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is for mum to stay active during pregnancy as it helps to prepare for the demands of carrying a child and for labour. A woman’s body goes through so many changes it’s good to be ready for these challenges. Exercise can help women through pregnancy not just physically but emotionally too, which must not be taken lightly. So if you’re active, fantastic stay that way. There may be days when you don’t feel up to doing much other than eat or sleep, please listen to what your body is telling you. It’s telling you for a reason. The key is to always listen to your body and adapt workouts to suit.
However, do not start something new if your body is not used to it as this can create problems and if there are any concerns always consult your health practitioner.
Chiropractic can help with maintaining healthy pelvic and spinal movement during your pregnancy by resolving discomfort such as back pain, sciatica, hip pain. Treatment aims to provide natural relief and works with your spine and pelvis as your body changes shape and different loads are placed on it. This along with Fascial/ soft tissue release encourages optimal fetal positioning for birth, which in the long run will help reduce likelihood of C-section. Exercises are also given to target the pelvic floor and core strength, primarily through developmental movements. (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisastion- DNS)
You did it. You survived pregnancy and labour and now have a beautiful little person that will enrich your life! And all the little pains of pregnancy will magically go away right? In a perfect world, yes. But for many women, they find that their body is not quite what it used to be. This is especially true for the pelvis. We have talked about the pelvis, and how it changes during pregnancy before, but what happens with the pelvis after pregnancy and birth?
All about the Hormones:
Remember those lovely hormones that help prepare the body for the birth process? Relaxin is one of the main ones, and it does just what it’s name implies, relaxes things. It relaxes the muscles and ligaments so that the joints in the pelvis can spread to allow the baby to pass through. Relaxin remains in your system after the birth and can continue to cause problems for months after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, it may be even longer.
The pelvis continues to be unstable in most women after the birth of their baby.
Getting back to Normal:
After the maternal hormones have settled down back to a normal level, the pelvis can go back to being stable, although in some women, it remains unstable for years after the children are born. Even when the pelvis is stable again, that doesn’t mean that it has become stable in the right position. We see many women with pelvises that have stabilised, but did not stabilise correctly. Meaning one or both sides are out of balance, thus causing a lot of discomfort when walking, lifting the baby, or bending.
What about Treatment?
Don’t fret, this can all be corrected with proper treatment. Using different types of manual therapy on the pelvic ligaments and muscles including Active Release Techniques (ART®) and specific exercises to improve your core strength. To help the pelvis heal, it’s important to keep active, which may be difficult to do when you are in pain. We recommend gentle exercise such as light walking as a great way to start.
Book an appointment today to get your pelvis checked and get back to feeling like yourself again!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Specialising in the treatment of Pregnancy Related Disorders