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Tips & Information - Pregnancy Guidelines

Pregnancy and Exercise Guidelines

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (ASOG) recommend that normally healthy pregnant women may continue an already established exercise routine. You Must check with your personal physician before starting an exercise program for individualized recommendations.

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are the following:

  • Hastens postpartum recovery.
  • Restricts weight gain without compromising fetal growth.
  • Improves body's ability to dissipate heat.
  • Enhances psychological well being during pregnancy.

General Nutrition Recommendations:

  • Eat small, frequent meals with regular fluid intake.
  • Increase caloric intake by 300 calories per day.
  • Increase calcium and protein intake.
  • Ask your doctor about a prenatal vitamin.
  • Increased exercise indicates the need for further additional calories.

Absolute contraindications to exercise during pregnancy according to (ACOG).

  • Heart disease
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Premature labor
  • Bleeding
  • Placenta Previa
  • Incompetent Cervix

Relative contraindications to exercise during pregnancy according to (ACOG).

  • Multiple gestation
  • History of 3 or more spontaneous miscarriages
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Palpitation or irregular heart rhythms
  • Breech presentation in last trimester
  • Excessive Obesity
  • Excessive Underweight
  • History of precipitous labor
  • History of Intrauterine growth retardation
  • History of bleeding during pregnancy
  • Extreme sedentary lifestyle

What to expect from your body, physically:

  • Fatigue may increase from the same amount of activity.
  • Your posture and center of gravity change; therefore, avoid activities that challenge your balance and agility. For example: use a stationary bike as opposed to a road bike.
  • Your joints become looser, thereby making you more prone to muscle strains and other injuries. Increased stretching is often not necessary during pregnancy because of your joint laxity.
  • Your heart rate will increase doing the same workload as compared to pre-pregnancy.
  • You will get out of breath more easily

General Exercise Guidelines During Pregnancy

  • You Must review this workout with your personal physician before starting for individualized recommendations.
  • Safety first always.
  • Pass the talk test during cardiovascular exercise. If you are too short of breath to have a conversation with someone while doing cardiovascular exercise than you are working too hard. Slow Down until you can carry on a normal conversation.
  • Avoid exercising in humid or hot environments.
  • Avoid training for competitive events and contact sports.
  • Avoid high altitude training.
  • Avoid increased pressure environments such as scuba diving.
  • Avoid horseback riding and skiing.
  • Avoid lying on your back for exercise after the first trimester. If an exercise in this position is given, use the incline bench rather than the flat bench.
  • Avoid lying on your stomach for any exercise.
  • Avoid deep knee bends such as squats.
  • Stop doing abdominal crunches after 20 weeks. If this is not your first baby, talk to your physician if you have a diastasis recti.
  • Keep heart rate below 140 bpm.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or using heavy weights during exercise.
  • Use light weights that allow you to achieve 15 repetitions easily.
  • Stop exercising if you are feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or are experiencing other abnormal responses.
  • Non impact exercises such as stationary bike riding and elliptical trainers are often more comfortable during the later stages of a pregnancy.

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