Pregnancy could turn you into a sloth if you are tired and achey but some exercise could help to boost your energy, your mood, ease your discomfort and just help you feel better.
You may fancy a class – like pilates, yoga, pregnancy aerobics and aquanatal – or you might just get out for more walks. You might also continue with your usual fitness regime – just listen to your body and don’t over do it so take it gently as your body grows and changes and get advice from your midwife if you are unsure.
Debbie Donaldson runs a range of pregnancy and postnatal exercise sessions in Newcastle and Tyneside. “If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if it safe to exercise in pregnancy. The simple answer is yes, although I would recommend that you get your midwife to agree it is ok for you to exercise. It may be important to modify your exercise, and attend classes specifically for pregnant women, where the teacher has specialist knowledge and an interest in pregnant women.
Exercising in pregnancy can improve posture, relieve stiffness and, most importantly, increase energy levels. Combined with sensible eating, exercise in pregnancy also helps to control weight gain. Chances are, your body will recover from pregnancy and birth quicker if you exercise during pregnancy. Your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles should regain strength sooner and you will find it easier to return to your pre-pregnancy shape if your muscles are toned and stretched. So feel free to get moving, feel confident about your changing body and enjoy your pregnancy.”
The NHS guidance states:
Don’t exhaust yourself and if you are unable to hold a conversation during your exercise, it could be too strenuous.
Exercise doesn’t have to strenuous – it can just be about getting active so gentle walking or swimming is also beneficial.
Warm up and warm down
If you are going to classes, make sure your instructor knows you are pregnant and, ideally, see an instructor who is trained/experienced in pregnancy fitness.
Janine Smith, practitioner in pregnancy, birth and early parenting