Exercise in pregnancy: tips, types, benefits and contraindications

Posted by Dr. Yahya MS on December 25, 2019

The world health organization guidelines recommended for adults at least 30 min of intentional physical activity of moderate intensity. The aim of exercise during pregnancy is to improve maternal fitness without putting her health at risk or compromising the health of the baby.

Exercise has a minimal risk in pregnancy and is beneficial. For women that have not been exercising, they can begin with brisk walk for about 150 minutes in a day and increases the
intensity as her body tolerate.
For womenthat have been exercising some modification to their routine may be necessary because of changes that occur in pregnancy.

Benefits of exercise in pregnancy

o Regular exercise has been shown to improve and maintain physical fitness
o Decreases the rate of caesarean section
o Decreases the rate of use of instrument during to assist your child birth
o Lower the rate of developing low back pain
o Lower blood glucose level in patient with diabetes in pregnancy
o Decrease recovery time after child birth
o Maintain woman’s shape after child birth
o Enhances rapid return to normal activities
o Help prevent hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
o Prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy

Examples of exercise that are safe in pregnancy.

o Walking
o Swimming
o Stationary cycling
o Running or jogging.

Examples of exercises to avoid during pregnancy

o Any physical activity that involve lying on the back, may reduce blood flow back to the heart and can cause dizziness, fainting, and
may even affect your baby
o Exercise with high risk of fall
o Exercise with high level of exertion

Stop exercising if any of the following occur.

o  Vaginal bleeding
o  Passage of fluid from the vagina
o  Leg pain and swelling
o  Sign of labour (regular painful uterine contractions)
o  Chest pain
o  Difficulty in breathing