In case you didn’t know, my wife Heather is pregnant. 30 weeks in. And I’m still freaking out, man.
I’ve been doing some research into exercise while pregnant. I’ve done my best in talking to MDs, reseaching nerdy crap and talking to people with experience. But really, I just want to make sure it’s easier for you than it was for me in terms of being confident when you continue or start an exercise program. Below are general guidelines on exercise and things to look out for while you or your significant other has a bun in the oven:
Box 1 Absolute contraindications to aerobic exercise during pregnancy (with permission from ACOG1)
Haemodynamically significant heart disease, Restrictive lung disease, Incompetent cervix/cerclage, Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour, Persistent second or third trimester bleeding, Placenta praevia after 26 weeks gestation, Premature labour during the current pregnancy, Ruptured membranes, Pregnancy induced hypertension
Box 2 Relative contraindications to aerobic exercise during pregnancy (with permission from ACOG1)
Severe anaemia, Unevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia, Chronic bronchitis, Poorly controlled type I diabetes, Extreme morbid obesity, Extreme underweight, body mass index <12), History of extremely sedentary lifestyle, Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy, Poorly controlled hypertension/pre-eclampsia, Orthopaedic limitations, Poorly controlled seizure disorder, Poorly controlled thyroid disease, Heavy smoker
Box 3 Warning signs to terminate exercise while pregnant
Vaginal bleeding, Dyspnoea before exertion, Dizziness, Headache, Chest pain, Muscle weakness, Calf pain or swelling (need to rule out thrombophlebitis), Preterm labour, Decreased fetal movement, Amniotic fluid leakage
– As long as nutrition is sufficient (not undereating, increased amount of carbohydrate and protein), exercise is beneficial in the same way as those who are not pregnant. Big stress on the article was making sure the mother was receiving adequate nutrition through exercise. Increased carbohydrate intake should be stressed as it takes more energy to grow a baby. Mothers will have a higher breakdown of sugar relative to non-preggo folk.