Staying Active during Pregnancy
With National Women’s Health & Fitness Day coming up on September 26, it is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of staying active and discuss basic guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.
Is exercise during pregnancy safe?
In general, if you are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, most exercise is safe to continue or begin. Modification, especially as your baby grows, may be necessary in later stages of pregnancy. It is important to discuss your exercise routine with your midwife or obstetrician in your early prenatal visits.
Exercises to avoid during pregnancy include: contact sports (soccer, basketball, hockey), activities with a risk of fall, scuba diving, hot yoga
What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
Benefits may include:
Decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, caesarean delivery
Improved muscle strength and tone
Decreased back pain
Promotion of healthy weight gain during pregnancy
What can the role of a physical therapist be in staying active during pregnancy and the postpartum period?
The anatomical and physiological changes that occur during pregnancy can increase the risk of musculoskeletal pain for pregnant women, especially low back pain or pelvic pain. As musculoskeletal experts, physical therapist have an important role in decreasing pain and improving function during pregnancy. Physical therapists can also assist patients in exercise prescription and modification during pregnancy and the postpartum periods. Physical therapists with specialized training in “women’s health” or “pelvic health” work with patients that may experience pelvic pain or urinary frequency or incontinence.
For postpartum patients, physical therapists also have a role in the assessment and treatment of disastasis recti (abdominal separation). Patients may have pain or dysfunction related to pregnancy and childbirth many years after it started, but physical therapy can still be beneficial.
If you feel that you would benefit from physical therapy during pregnancy or after giving birth, please contact Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine at (920) 991-2561.
“Exercise during Pregnancy” https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy
“Exercise during Pregnancy” http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/
“ACOG Committee Opinion” https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Optimizing-Postpartum-Care
“Pregnancy and Low Back Pain: Physical Therapy Can Reduce Back and Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy”J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2014;44(7):474. doi:10.2519/jospt.2014.0505