Exercising during pregnancy is great for you. It relaxes you, strengthens your muscles, and helps reduce discomfort. Exercising also makes it easier to get back in shape after delivery.
It is safe to do most exercises when you’re pregnant. Walking is a great first step, if you want to get in the exercise mode. Many experts recommend Yoga because of its physical and emotional benefits. Always consult a Yoga expert about the right exercises for you.
As months pass, you should make adjustments. This is because your baby (and your tummy) is growing. This changes balance and posture. Your body has to work harder to provide enough oxygen to baby. Thus you may tire quickly during later stages. Your joints may also be more vulnerable.
Always pay close attention to what your body tells you. As a thumb rule, don’t run out of breath. If you do, stop. You should not exhaust yourself.
Warning Signs when Exercising during Pregnancy
The most common warning signs are listed below. When you experience any of these, don’t stop at once. Walk for a bit. Have some water. Abruptly stopping might do more harm than good. Call your doctor if the symptoms persist.
Vomiting or Nausea
If you feel sick, or vomit, you are exercising more than you should. Slow down and don’t tire yourself. It could also mean low BP or low blood sugar.
Make sure to eat a light snack before exercising. It also helps to stick to a healthy diet. Follow the diet plan given by your doctor or dietitian.
If at any point you feel strange sensations in your chest, slow down. It might mean you are exercising too hard. Slow down gradually and when you stop, call your doctor.
If you feel dizzy during or after exercise, call your doctor. If you also have headache or palpitations at the same time, it might mean dehydration. Or that there is not enough iron in your blood.
Back Pain / Hip Pain / Pain in Pelvis
During pregnancy, hormonal changes take place in your body. These affect ligaments that support your joints. They make them loose and less stable. This makes you more prone to injury. See your doctor if you experience pain in your back, hips or pelvis.
Your hands and feet may swell a little after exercise. But if there is more swelling, see your doctor. It can be signs of pre-eclampsia, which increases BP and causes body to retain fluid. It restricts blood supply to placenta, and can be harmful to the baby. Hence it should be treated without delay.
Sudden Body Temperature Changes
Exercising causes body temperature to rise. Sudden changes in body temperature can be harmful for your baby. Call your doctor if you experience any of these:
- Your hands turn damp or sweaty
- Your body overheats
- Your face turns hot or cold
- You sweat a lot
Always drink plenty of water while exercising. Keep exercise sessions to a maximum of 45 minutes. Avoid exercising when it’s hot or humid outside.