Pregnancy Nutrition and Fitness
Exercise During Pregnancy
Every individual is different, it’s best to discuss which exercises are safe for your with your practitioner. There are many benefits to exercise during pregnancy. Some benefits include:
Safe exercises generally include:
If you haven’t been exercising prior to pregnancy it is best to begin slowly and start with moderate exercise. Wear comfortable clothing, a sports bra and shoes that provide good support. If you experience vaginal bleeding, pain, cramps, dizziness or headaches stop immediately.
Remember to drink plenty of water before and after exercise. Avoid low blood sugar levels by limiting your exercise session to 45 minutes or less. Spend at least 8 -10 minutes warming up your muscles before exercising. Utilize a cool down period of 5 minutes after completing your workout.. Avoid deep-bending positions and rigorous stretching.
After 16 weeks do not hold exercise positions on your back longer than 3 minutes. If you experience nausea, dizziness, or lightheadedness choose alternative workout activities. The weight from your uterus can press on the vena cava (a large blood vessel in your abdomen) and decrease your blood pressure.
Avoid activities where you could fall or lose your balance. Your center of gravity is constantly changing throughout your pregnancy. These include but are not limited to:
Other sports such as volleyball, softball, basketball, and soccer are considered potentially dangerous in the last trimester and should be avoided.
Exercises that are beneficial for birth and the postpartum period.
Your muscles are working overtime to keep up with your growing uterus. Your lower back, abdomen and pelvic floor muscles are under greater pressure during pregnancy. These same muscles must also relax and stretch during birth. Try these exercises to potentially relieve pain and improve muscle tone:
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
The amount of weight you should gain throughout your pregnancy varies depending contingent upon your pre-pregnancy weight and your body mass index (BMI). Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy increase their risk of having a premature delivery or larger than average baby. Too much weight gain may also leads to health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure. The recommended amount of weight gain throughout pregnancy is about 25-35 pounds. The general guidelines are as follows:
Dieting And Pregnancy
Healthy weight gain is vital to your baby’s growth and development. A balanced diet will help provide you are your baby the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Don’t skip meals. This can cause low blood sugar. For optimal growth, your baby needs nutrition at regular intervals. If your preconception BMI is greater than 35, your practitioner may advise you to work closely with a nutritionist to help manage your diet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits during pregnancy will make postpartum weight loss easier. Do not hesitate to talk to your practitioner if you have concerns about your weight gain or dietary recommendations.