Pregnancy Exercise Myths

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While exercise provides numerous health benefits, some conditions may require you to change your regular workout routines. Exercising during pregnancy affects both you and your unborn child. Well-meant advice from friends and family about exercising while pregnant may have you wondering what’s factual and what constitutes a myth.

Benefits

The myth that raising your hands above your head can result in the umbilical cord wrapping around your baby’s neck is simply not true. Lifespan, a Rhode Island health system, advises that a wrapped umbilical cord has nothing to do with the activities of the mother. In fact, exercising during pregnancy may help reduce common pregnancy discomforts such as bloating, constipation, backaches and swelling. Regular exercise may also increase your energy, improve your mood, help your posture and help you get a good night’s sleep.

Safety

Although exercise can be beneficial, don’t believe those who try to convince you that all forms of exercise are equally safe while you are expecting. Avoid activities and exercises that increase your risk of falls and injuries, such as downhill skiing, horseback riding and contact sports. Avoid exercises that involve lying on your back, as this position can interfere with blood circulation.

Considerations

The main consideration in determining what types of exercise you do while pregnant depends on your existing level of activity and physical condition. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if you are used to running or strength training, you may be able to continue these activities in moderation. Your doctor can help you decide what sports are suitable for you during your pregnancy, depending on your health and the health of your pregnancy.

Suitable Exercises

The myth that you should avoid exercise during pregnancy is untrue for most women. However, women with pregnancy complications should not exercise without a doctor’s approval. Suitable exercises for most women with healthy pregnancies include gentle water aerobics, swimming, walking and stationary bicycling.

Precautions

It is a myth that regular exercise triggers premature labor in healthy pregnancies. A complicated series of hormonal signals normally starts the process. However, be aware of certain warning symptoms that can occur during exercise as well as during rest. Stop exercising immediately and contact your doctor if you feel dizzy or faint, notice vaginal bleeding or experience uterine contractions, fluid leaking from your vagina or a decrease in fetal movements.

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