Exercise During Pregnancy: The Risks and How to Avoid Them

While regular exercise can benefit your pregnancy, going overboard may cause more harm than good. “We must be aware of changes to our balance and center of gravity during pregnancy. We must be cautious to avoid straining or overexerting oneself, according to Fletcher.

The later in your pregnancy you are, the more crucial it may be to avoid activities that strain your lower abdominals or environments that increase your chance of falling.

To reduce the chance of injury while working out during pregnancy, consider these tips:

  1. Maintain a firm surface.
  2. Evaluate your level of intensity.
  3. ‘Lifting muscles’ change.
  4. Maintain your current course of action.
  5. Assess your level of risk. 
    1. Maintain a firm surface.

    Relaxin, a hormone made by the ovaries and placenta, is generated in greater quantities by the body during pregnancy. Relaxin encourages relaxation of the body, as its name implies. It’s crucial for releasing tension in the pelvic region, which might lessen discomfort during labor. However, relaxin can also loosen ligaments in other parts of the body and may cause exceptional wobbliness, which increases the risk of falls in unstable surroundings.

    According to Ahmad, falling might be particularly harmful during pregnancy. When things become really bad, falling can result in issues like placenta abruption, in which the placenta separate from the uterine wall when a woman is pregnant. This dangerous disorder has the potential to raise mortality and morbidity rates.

    The placenta provides the fetus with oxygen and nutrients, therefore this separation could result in the fetus losing oxygen and the mother experiencing excessive bleeding, among other undesirable effects.

    People who experience placenta abruption require prompt medical attention. A person can require an immediate delivery or a blood transfusion according on the circumstances. Cramping or vaginal bleeding may occur in a person who is having a placenta abruption. Ahmad advises women in their second or third trimesters to plan routine medical check-ins to evaluate risks and call a doctor if they are worried about falling because signs are not always visible.

    “Some people sense it and it’s painful, and others don’t,” If there’s even the slightest possibility that something might happen, you need to have them in hospital to watch them.”

    The best way to prevent falling may vary from person to person, but it often involves avoiding strenuous activities like climbing, hiking, and bicycling. Ahmad, an ardent cyclist, claims that she gave up her pastime during pregnancy in order to save her health. I loved riding my bike by the lake with my pals, so for me, it was difficult, she adds. Because it’s so crucial to prevent falling before giving birth, I rode the stationary bike for a little period of time.

    Evaluate your level of intensity.

    Examining your breathing patterns can help you determine whether a workout is too strenuous, according to Ahmad. Particularly during the third trimester, “you don’t want to be gasping for air.”

    Therefore, it is a good idea to cut back on your normal routine until you have given birth and are feeling better after your delivery if it is making you feel more out of breath than usual or entails significant exertion to begin with.

    According to Ahmad, if you can comfortably carry on a conversation while working out, your routine is probably safe and beneficial for your body. It may also serve as a solid justification for working out with a buddy.

    ‘Lifting muscles’ change.

    Similar to changes in cardiac intensity, excessive weightlifting is not advised during pregnancy, especially in the later stages. The abdominal muscles and other muscles close to the pelvis, which are particularly prone to injury during pregnancy, may need to be engaged for heavy lifting or thrusting.

    Although you shouldn’t perform any heavy lifting, you are still allowed to pick things up. Ahmad reports that many of her patients who have recently given birth ask her if they are okay to hold their infants. Yes, provided that people pay attention to the muscles they are utilizing to hold their children. She claims that shifting muscular engagement to the legs can safeguard the body, particularly in the second trimester and beyond.

    “Use your arms, not your core, abdomen, or back, to pick up your infant or toddler. use your legs.”

    Maintain your current course of action

    You might not want to start running or lifting weights right away if you weren’t used to it before becoming pregnant.

    Considering yourself what you were doing prior to becoming pregnant will help you decide what kinds of exercises or activities are safe to do while pregnant, according to Ahmad.

    “If you’re an active individual, it’s OK to continue practicing that in early pregnancy, with modifications,” the expert continues. “But if you’re sedentary, pregnancy is not the time to start working out every day of the week,” she said.

    Above all, it’s crucial to listen to your body and perform movements that complement your particular body at this time.

    Assess your level of risk

    Some women should not exercise at all while pregnant, and that is acceptable. The best suggestion is to believe that working out is the healthiest thing for you and your body even if your doctor advises against it. According to Ahmad, there are several diseases that could prevent pregnant women from exercising, including those involving improper placenta implantation, cardiac issues, and cervical concerns.

    Even healthy individuals should be aware of the effects exercise has on their body. Experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, vaginal bleeding, or having contractions while exercising are indications to scale back or seek medical attention, according to Ahmad.

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