I did yoga right up until the day before my scheduled C-section.
And here’s why.
Regular exercise during pregnancy will keep weight gain in a healthy range.
It also helps in strengthening the muscles that support your growing baby and preventing stress on your back and joints. Exercise also reduces your risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and other prenatal conditions.
Figuring out what exercise is safe during pregnancy is tricky, so we have busted three of the most common prenatal fitness myths.
MYTH #1: If you weren’t active before conception, you should stick to walking.
Prenatal Workout Program, First & Second TrimesterHow to Exercise When You’re Expecting: For the 9 Months of Pregnancy and the 5 Months It Takes to Get Your Best Body Ba ckYoga Pregnancy: Pre and Post Natal Workouts
Some women assume they should wait after the baby arrives to shape up. But now is the perfect time to get fit!
Regular exercise helps you recover quickly post-delivery. You baby will benefit from boosted oxygen levels in utero and will feel less stress during labor.
Research shows that babies of moms who regularly exercised during pregnancy are more alert and have more muscle mass at birth.
Start with one or two weekly prenatal yoga or aquafit classes to comlement an amped-up walking routine. Aim for 20 minutes at a brisk pace, five days a week.
Myth #2: Ab crunches are the best way to prepare for labor.
Strong abdominal muscles will better support the weight of your growing belly, and assist you during labor, but sit-ups should be avoided during pregnancy.
You see, as you get bigger, and the space behind your abdominal wall gets tighter, crunches can force your muscles to separate (a condition known as diastasis recti), which can contribute to chronic back pain and a postpartum “mommy tummy.”
After the 16 week mark, experts recommend modifying any workout that requires you to lay flat on your back because the weight of your uterus can put too much pressure on your inferior vena cava or that large vein that carries the deoxygenated blood from the lower and middle body into the right atrium of the heart. Too much pressure on your vena cava can slow the flow on blood to your baby.
What you can do focus on are core moves (like planks) to safely strengthen your midsection.
Exercise balls are great to use when exercising during pregnancy!
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Myth #3: Cardio is dangerous for your baby.
Workouts that get your heart pumping are safe for you and baby. How much your body can handle depends on your fitness level preconception.
For instance, an athlete can comfortably maintain a much higher heart rate than a couch potato.
Take the “talk test” to gauge whether you are exerting yourself too much. You should be able to have a two-minute conversation without gasping for air. You can cycle, swim and run right through your pregnancy, as long as you scale back according to what feels comfortable.
Just listen to your body and do what feels good for you.