Moms-To-Be – Your Very Own Exercise Guide

It's important to strike a balance in pregnancy – you need to stay fit, healthy and active but at the same time, rest plenty to give your body the energy it needs to grow a baby in the womb! But what exercise can you enjoy while pregnant and what’s the best way of doing it?



Why exercise in pregnancy?


We know the importance of staying fit and active in life. In pregnancy, to help our body cope with changes both physically and emotionally, exercise in pregnancy is essential;


  • Easier pregnancy – there is a suggestion that being fit before pregnancy and staying active throughout the three trimesters can ease pregnancy problems, such as poor sleep. 
  • Toned muscles – when it comes to carrying a baby, tones muscles are less likely to be damaged or affected by pregnancy hormones. A toned and strong pelvic floor muscle, for example, that control the release of urine may mean you won’t need to use incontinence pads as much throughout your pregnancy.  
  • Better labor and birth – being fit means that labour and birth could be easier too. 
  • Post-natal depression – thankfully, we are talking more and acknowledging that new mums and dads are affected by post-natal depression. Being active during your pregnancy and after the birth could help in stopping or managing feeling low and depressed.


Your Exercise Guide


Everyone is different. Every pregnancy is different. Staying active in pregnancy is key but overdoing it when it comes to exercise can lead to problems. ALWAYS follow the advice of your midwife or GP and make sure that as well as exercising, you rest for the same amount of time too. Take it slowly and listen to your body.

Walking

Great for – overall physical health, keeping your weight in check during pregnancy and also emotional health too Ditch the car for short journeys and opt to walk instead. And because it is free, you can do it anytime you like and whenever you like too. Vary your route to stop it getting dull and boring. This is a great exercise for after birth too. Include hills (going up as well as down!) and alter your speed during a walk too to get the best from it.

Swimming

Great for – exercising and supporting your body as you do so From a few gentle lengths of breaststroke to full-on swimming, it is (almost) impossible to over-do it. A versatile form of exercise you can exercise and tone all your muscles, with the added advantage of the water taking the weight of your growing bump. Ideal throughout pregnancy but especially in the final trimester, swimming is perfect for anyone but especially those of us who may not have followed an active exercise routine pre-pregnancy.

Rest

Just as important as being active, is getting plenty of rest.

  • First trimester – the first 14 to 16 weeks of your pregnancy can be dogged by heartburn and nausea. You can also feel very tired. And so, it is important that when you feel you need to rest that you do so. 
  • Second trimester – the middle part of a pregnancy is the time during which most women develop a ‘bloom’. With pregnancy hormones now under control, your skin can look great, your hair is fantastic, and you feel really well. As well as staying active, make sure you get at least eight hours a night and plenty of rest during the day too. 
  • Third trimester – the final few weeks of pregnancy can be just as challenging as the first trimester! But this doesn’t mean giving up exercise: it means doing smaller bits of activity and less strenuous too. 


HARTMANN Direct is an online supplier of incontinence products, many of which are suitable during pregnancy and post birth to manage short-term urinary incontinence.

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