A mother who is fit and strong is usually better able to cope with labour. Strong abdominal and well-toned pelvic floor muscles aid the expulsion of the baby during delivery. Exercise will also help her feel more relaxed and less stressed, help her breathe better, sleep better, have better blood circulation and develop a better posture.
But maybe one of the best outcomes could be the natural defence she develops against depression and fatigue.
Before you start exercising, you should consult your doctor to check that your exercise programme is right for you and your unborn child.
Do’s for exercising
- Exercise three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.
- You will benefit most from doing exercises like swimming, water aerobics, walking and cycling on a stationary bike. These exercises don’t require your body to bear extra weight.
- Warm up for five minutes before you start exercising and cool down for 10 to 15 minutes afterwards.
- Make sure that you drink enough water to avoid dehydration.
- Be careful of activities that increase your chances of falling.
Don’ts for exercising
- If you haven’t exercised prior to your pregnancy, you should start slowly and be careful not to put too much strain on your body.
- Sports such as horse-riding, scuba-diving and skiing must be avoided while you are pregnant.
- Don’t continue with your exercise routine if you feel tired.
- After your first trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie down on your back as they decrease blood flow to the womb.
- Never exercise when it is very hot.
Listen to your body because it gives you signals when you are exercising too hard. If you experience any of these symptoms, whether you are exercising or not, you should contact your doctor immediately:
- Blood or fluid coming from your vagina
- Sudden or severe abdominal and/or vaginal pain
- Contractions that go on for 30 minutes after you have stopped exercising
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Headache that is severe or won’t go away
- Dim or blurry vision
Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about a exercising while pregnant. Call us on the EWP number or email us at
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