PRENATAL EXERCISE

Goal: (minimum)

  • Walk at least 1 mile at least 3 times a week (you will strengthen all of the muscles that will be used in labor)  
  • Do 3 sets of 25 cat-cow poses every day
  • Do sets of 3-10 full, flat-footed squats every day (Every time that you use the restroom)
  • Exercise at least 150 minutes per week

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Encourages baby into a good position for birth, improving the efficiency of labor
  • Strengthens the body and mind for the requirements of labor
  • Helps reduce backaches, improves your posture, and promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Can help reduce risks of PIH/Toxemia, Diabetes, and Anemia 
  • Reduces constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • Gives you energy and improves your mood and can help you sleep better

General Recommendations:

Women who currently participate in a regular exercise program can continue exercising without major modifications during pregnancy. Those who plan to start an exercise program after becoming pregnant should begin with low-impact activities at low intensities, such as walking, swimming, and gentle prenatal yoga or other gentle movement class.

  • Regular exercise, at least three times per week, is recommended, 20-30 minutes in duration, at a moderate intensity (you should be able to carry on a normal conversation, even as your breathing becomes faster and deeper)
  • Dancing and/or rhythmic movement
  • Belly dancing
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Walking
  • Biking (recumbent bikes are most comfortable)
  • Sex and low impact aerobics are most appropriate  
  • In Phoenix you may need to work out in the early day, the evening, or inside, during the summer. Most important: STAY WELL HYDRATED AND IF YOU ARE VERY ACTIVE, INCREASE CALORIC INTAKE!
  • During the third trimester, joints are much looser, so avoid deep extension of joints or deep flexion
  • Avoid anything that could increase the risk of falls (downhill skiing, horseback riding, etc.), sit-ups, activities that require holding your breath or bearing down, and ballistic, jerky movements