Exercising while pregnant

Amanda - posted on 11/23/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hello. I have a 14 month old son, and I just found out a couple of weeks ago that I am pregnant again. Prior to that, I had been working out both aerobically and using leg and arm weights. I have not been to the doc yet-problems with insurance, so I can't ask my doc for advice, so I thought I would hit up the women on CoM for some advice. Thanks!

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Alice - posted on 11/26/2010

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Amanda, I'm an online fitness coach and have had 4 babies. I've exercised up until the day before with mine, but then I also listen to my body - if you feel it is too heavy or shouldn't be done, listen! You do have a very reliable instinct with regard to what your body can do.
Jennifer is sooooo right about your body thanking you for the exercise later... you will do better in labor and bounce back into shape faster after the baby's birth! :)

Jennifer - posted on 11/23/2010

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you can keep exercising at the same pace you were before you got pregnant (unless you're considered "high risk")...and your body will thank you for it later in your pregnancy if you keep up with exercise!

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Danielle - posted on 12/08/2010

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Your doctor will usually give you the go ahead to exercise as long as you have no complications. I did a DVD called FitMom and I loved it. Once your doctor says it's fine you should check it out.

Amy - posted on 11/28/2010

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I worked at a military program for at risk youth and at my job I Jogged and did exercises such as sit ups and pushups lunges etc. well into my pregnancy...I was jogging up to 4 miles (slowly) several days a week until I was about 16 weeks (I began to spot after running or would have continued, Dr had said that continuing to jog was ok that as long as I didn't overheat I was fine but it was scaring me) Was told by the Dr to stop abdominal excersises and push ups at 20 weeks, after which I walked and hiked alot and did alot of lower body exercises like lunges and light upper body wieghts, and until it became uncomfortable I used stationary bike. Unless the pregnancy is high risk or you have a medical condition you should be able to continue anything you did before you were pregnant with in reason. I really believe my activity level led to me having what might have been the easiest pregnancy ever!

Heather - posted on 11/28/2010

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My midwife told me when I was pregnant that 5 could do anything I wanted, even crunches. Your body will tell you when you are reaching your limit with certain things. Your body will definitely thank you. I have a job that requires being on my feet/walking for 50 hours/week and I worked until I went into labor (well, technically my shift ended 5 hours before lol). I give my job the credit for my 7 hour drug free labor. For my next pregnancy I plan on continuing to go to the gym (which I stopped in my last one b/c I was exhausted). I also do weightlifting and plan on lifting not much heavier than what I lift at the beginning of pregnancy.

Amanda - posted on 11/27/2010

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Thank you all so much! This really helps. Alice, I think I am listening to my body by not weightlifting. For some reason, it's just striking me as a no-no. Maybe I am just too tired! Thanks again, everyone for all of the great advice.

Alice - posted on 11/27/2010

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@ Jennifer
Great advice! All my labors were less than 3 hours... 2h 40m; 58m; 1h 37m; and 2h 16m, respectively. So yes, the strength and condition of your body does directly relate to your ease in labor. Plus, your body bounces back into shape better.

Proper nutrition is another very important factor, though. Lots of women get anemic (feel fatigued, sleep lots, no energy)because they don't realize they are low on iron. Unless you eat tons of high-iron foods like greens, find a supplement.
:)

Jennifer - posted on 11/26/2010

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Info found on this website!
http://blog.tightbodwithapod.com/the-hea...

Exercising is important for all women, but exercising correctly (with the right heart rate) is paramount when pregnant. The heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, expressed as beats per minute (BPM). Click here to learn how to figure out your heart rate. Previous pregnancy protocol for heart rates and exercise was to stay below 140 BPM. Although this is still a good general guideline, new studies have shown that exercising up to 70% of your maximum heart rate does not affect the fetal heart rate.

** Check with your doctor on what is a healthy max heart rate for you during pregnancy, especially if you have a history of pre-term labor or medical conditions like diabetes or high blood sugar.**

Preggo Heart Happy Tips:
The first 3 months of pregnancy are an adjustment period when your blood volume is initially too low to accommodate you and your growing fetus – you will feel tired so don’t push yourself.
As your pregnancy progress, lessen the intensity of your exercise.
Be careful not to over-stretch. Your body is full of a hormone called relaxin, which induces hyper-flexibility in joints and musculature. Good for expanding your uterus and re-positioning your pelvic floor, but this new-found flexibility can lead to strained muscles!
After 4 months, avoid exercises done on your back – your uterus will sit on a major blood vessel responsible for returning blood to your heart and will slow this process down.

BE IN THE KNOWKNOW exercise is GOOD! Dr. James Clapp ran a study of 500 pregnant women: those who exercised delivered a healthier baby with a stronger fetal heart rate.

DO exercise. Your time spent in labor is shortened by about a third, with 65% of women delivering in four hours or less!

DON'T exercise in extreme altitudes or in hot and humid environments as your body temperature directly affects your baby.

DO the talk test; if you can't carry on a conversation without feeling short of breath your exercise is too intense.

DO swim! This keeps your body toned without adding weight and stress to the joints, and it is unlikely to cause overheating.

DO continue to jog/run at a moderate pace if that is your exercise of choice, but remember that walking is easier on your knees and joints, especially during pregnancy and later trimesters.

DO bike! This supports your weight during exercise, consider stationary bikes to lower the chance of falling. As you grow your center of gravity shifts, and the bigger the baby gets, the more stress it can cause on your back.

Amanda - posted on 11/26/2010

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Thank you Jennifer. I just wasn't sure about the weightlifting. I've been doing the aerobic just fine. I don't think I'm high risk. I wasn't for my last one.

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