(Written for Reco Med)
Provided there are no medical problems, you can exercise during pregnancy. This is according to Dr Natalia Novikova, who works from Medi Clinic in Oranjezicht, Cape Town. Activities such as swimming, walking, spinning, a weight-bearing exercise that does not involve the tummy of the mom-to-be, are safe during pregnancy.
Dr Novikova adds that you may continue exercise you were doing before pregnancy, but some adjustments need to be considered:
• Do not overstretch. The levels of progesterone are high during pregnancy, which makes tissues lax, so overstretching may lead to injuries.
• Avoid intense exercise. This will cause body temperature to rise, and at any stage of pregnancy, high body temperature is dangerous for the baby.
• Running, jumping and aerobic exercise may have a negative impact on the pelvic floor of the mom-to-be, try to avoid these exercises.
• In the second half of your pregnancy, make sure your back is tilted when lying down. During pregnancy, your uterus compresses important vessels when you lie flat.
Dr Novikova concludes that exercises are great for your mental health, for your body and even for the baby’s growth. It will help to prevent diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise will also keep you fit for childbirth, which will help the process.