Safety of Exercise during Pregnancy
Is exercise safe during pregnancy
If the pregnancy is progressing normally,
the answer is yes. Continuing any sport or mild form of exercise
should not be a problem, as long as it is done in moderation. In fact,
moderate exercise is good for you as well as the baby. As long as
you do not overstrain yourself, exercise can be a physically and emotionally
satisfying and safe experience. It serves to increase energy levels
and alleviates problems like leg cramps, backaches, constipation and breathlessness
and prepares you for labour. It will also help in keeping you in
a perfect state of health. But before you hit the track, do get a
medical clearance from your doctor, since he is most informed about your
condition. If you are in a high-risk category, he will certainly
restrict your movements.
Can exercises cause any harm to the baby (Dr. Rita Shah)
Many exercises are not safe during
pregnancy. Before undertaking any rigorous exercise, make sure that
they do not put excessive strain on the uterine muscles. Exercises
conducted in the childbirth/Lamaze classes are specially planned to suit
the pregnant mother.
What kind of exercises should one totally avoid
Any exercise that involves lifting weights or imposes excessive physical exertion, such as horse riding, skiing, skin diving, and backpacking, should be completely avoided. Jogging is very hard on the spine, pelvis, hips, knees, breasts and back and should also be avoided. Exercises that pull your abdominal muscles, like leg lifts and sit-ups, are also not advisable during pregnancy. Further, do not try your hand at any new sport once you get pregnant; your body needs time to adjust to new movements.
After the 4th month, do not exercise while lying flat on your back, as the weight of your uterus can compress major blood vessels, and restrict circulation. Pointing or extending your toes can also lead to cramping; it is better to flex your feet instead.