Friday, September 27, 2013

Too Little Exercise during Pregnancy

Questions about too much exercise during pregnancy are often raised  - such as the current discussion on weightlifting at 38 weeks here.

But a recent study in the Maternal and Child Health Journal of more than 600 pregnant women in Canada found that only 58% of the women did 15 minutes or more exercise at least 3 days per week.  Only 23% of women met the Canadian guidelines for physical activity during pregnancy (30 or more minutes on at least 4 days of the week). Pregnant women were less likely to be meeting exercise guidelines if they were single, divorced, separated or widowed, a visible minority, had a household income between $20,000 and $80,000, and reported being in less than excellent health. Women who had completed high school were more likely to be meeting guidelines.

The bottom line here is that pregnancy is not a time to let your exercise habits slip.  In a healthy pregnancy and with physician approval, mother and baby will both be best served by a moderate exercise program as recommended in both Canadian and US guidelines.

It should be noted that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that each potential sport activity should be reviewed individually for its potential risk.  They recommend that activities with a high risk of falling or those with a high risk of abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy. They strongly recommend that scuba diving be avoided throughout pregnancy because the fetus is at an increased risk for decompression sickness during this activity.

Read more about the Canadian exercise in Pregnancy study here.

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  2. I was told that it's safe to do exercises that you did before your pregnancy because your body is used to it but for not as long and as long as its comfortable.
    Possible exercises are yoga, swimming etc. I wouldn't recommend using anything with weights.

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