There are many benefits to both mother and baby from regular approprite pre natal exercise during pregnancy.  Oxygen flow and placental function will be increased and it will help you to be prepared for labour.  Always first discuss with your doctor or midwife to make sure the kind of exercise you want to do is appropriate.  If you have complications from pregnancy you may have exercise restrictions. 

Regular exercise is also good for your mental health.  Exercise can be calming as hormones of pregnancy can trigger mood swings.  Some of those annoying and uncomfortable effects of pregnancy such as  cramps, constipation, aches, pains and insomnia may respond to gentle exercise.

Lack of exercise can leave you feeling flabby and unhealthy making it more difficult to get back into shape once baby has been born.  Regular exercise which lifts your heart rate can reduce your blood pressure and will give you more energy. 

Exercise will absolutely improve your coping ability during labour.  Remember your body has a massive job to do during labour and birth.

It’s best to avoid contact sports that would carry a risk of impact or falls.  Also avoid anything involving heavy lifting, strong stretching, jumping, jarring or possible overheating.

Wear supportive shoes, comfortable clothing and a supportive bra.

Exercise should be low impact – moderate only and avoid overheating.

Your ligaments are very soft in pregnancy so it’s really important to warm up before exercise and cool down at the end.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising.

Don’t hold your breath or exercise so hare that you become short of breath, as this will affect the flow of oxygen to your baby.

Don’t change positions too quickly as this may cause you to become dizzy.

Enjoy your exercise!

YOGA PRE NATAL – always ensure your yoga teacher knows that you are pregnant as some yoga positions may need to be adjusted for you.  Yoga will often include useful labour positions, breathing and meditation techniques which will prepare you for labour.

WALKING – walking on the beach, at a park, in the country or just around your own neighbourhood.

GYM – make sure the gyn instructor know you are pregnant and follow a tailor made program.

SWIMMING – is a great exercise during pregnancy, why not try aqua aerobics or just walking in the water.  Water supports the growing weight of your body.

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