Exercise in Pregnancy: New Guideline
Updated: Mar 11, 2019
We all know that exercise is good for us and especially during pregnancy. The numerous benefits of exercise throughout your pregnancy include fewer newborn complications, a reduced number of Caesarean sections or instrumental deliveries, and fewer incidence of urinary incontinence, excessive weight gain, and depression data.
The updated guideline by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology is now prescribing a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week for pregnant mama's. Unfortunately, fewer than two out of every 10 pregnant women in Canada meet the new activity minimum. Part of this, I believe, is the uncertainty around which exercise is best and when to start.
Good news - the best exercise is the one you will do! So pick one that you love (or at least like) and start there... and start today! Of course, high impact and very heavy lifting can become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses (and I wouldn't recommend starting crossfit or long distance running during your pregnancy if you are new to it). BUT, if you are a very active and fit pre-pregnancy then do what feels good and safe for you, until your body starts to communicate that it may need a modification, less weight/ distance/ impact, more support or even maybe a different activity or movements. Some signs that your body may not be handling the challenges you are asking of it can include aches or pains that persist or get worse with certain movements/ positions, leaking urine, and/ or a sensation of straining or pressure.
If however you are feeling any of the symptoms above (or any others that don't feel quite right in your body), consult your local women's health professional (physiotherapist, chiropractor, or kinesiologist) to take a look at how you are moving and how you could be better aligned and/or supported to optimize your movement practice.
It is important to note that while strength training is important we also want to learn how to soften, lengthen and release tension to not only create space for baby, but also to allow for birth. More specifically, the pelvic floor needs to be able to length and relax to allow baby out (when the time comes;)) with more adaptability to limit tearing or the need for an episiotomy (stay tuned for another blog post on preparing your pelvic floor for birth & optimizing recovery postpartum).
If you have any questions, drop me a quick comment below or send me an email.
Wishing you are happy & health pregnancy!
Disclaimer - Everything shared is for informative purposes only. It is not intended for assessment, diagnosis or treatment purposes. If you feel there needs to be further investigation, please seek out a qualified health care professional for a proper assessment.