Exercise During Pregnancy For Normal Delivery
If you are expecting a child, it is natural for you to have fears and concerns. The biggest fear is the delivery itself. Will you have a normal delivery or a C-section? If it is a normal delivery, how long will the labor last? Is there anything that you can do to minimize the pain and duration of labor? You understand that it is a natural process, which is painful and can take time. Yet, there are some pregnancy exercises for normal delivery that aid a woman to have a smooth delivery with little discomfort. They can also increase your chance of having a normal delivery by flexing the muscles responsible for a normal delivery.
Regular exercise can ease backaches during pregnancy, and it helps improve the mother’s stamina that she will need during her labor and delivery. Aside from reducing stress, regular exercise puts the expecting mother in high spirits and makes her feel good about herself. If the mother is in good health, she will be better prepared for childbirth.
Experts agree that exercise during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for most pregnant women, if it is done properly. This is definitely an area to discuss with your healthcare provider at the beginning of your pregnancy.
Regular, moderate exercise during pregnancy can benefit you in many ways. It can help
-Prevent constipation and varicose veins
-Strengthen muscles needed for delivery
-Leave you in better shape after delivery
-Help you feel better about yourself
The goal of exercising during pregnancy is overall good health. It will make you feel better physically, and it can give you an emotional boost.
Exercise was not always approved for a pregnant woman. In the past, doctors were concerned about the redirection of blood flow from the fetus to the pregnant woman's muscles during exercise. This does occur to a small degree, but it is not harmful to the fetus in a normal pregnancy.
Starting a Program
Some women become interested in exercising during pregnancy to help them feel better. If you've never exercised before, you must discuss it with your doctor before you begin. Pregnancy is not the time to begin a vigorous exercise program.
If you've never exercised before, walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise. Riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill can also be enjoyable and beneficial.
Don't be afraid that exercise might cause you to do something to hurt your pregnancy. It's a good idea to be fit and to exercise when you're pregnant. If you're fit, you'll do better with weight gain during pregnancy, be able to do the work of labor and delivery better, and feel better sooner after the birth.
Most experts recommend reducing your exercise to 70 to 80% of your prepregnancy level. If you have problems with bleeding or cramping, or have had problem pregnancies before, you will need to modify your exercise with your doctor's advice.
Exercise and Heart Rate
During pregnancy, your heart rate is higher; you don't have to exercise as vigorously to reach your target-heart-rate range. Be careful not to stress your cardiovascular system. If your heart rate is too high, slow down but don't stop exercising completely. Continue exercising, but exercise at a more moderate rate.
If your heart rate is low, and you don't feel too winded, pick up the pace a bit, but don't overdo it. Check your pulse rate again in a few minutes to make sure you aren't overexerting. During pregnancy, check your pulse rate fairly often when you exercise. You'll be surprised at how fast your pulse can increase during a pregnancy workout.
Discuss exercise with your healthcare practitioner at your first prenatal visit. If you decide later to start or to change your exercise program, consult your physician before you begin. Some women should not exercise during pregnancy. If you experience any of the following symptoms, do not exercise during pregnancy:
-A history of an incompetent cervix, preterm labor or repeated miscarriages
-High blood pressure early in pregnancy
-Diagnosed heart disease
As your pregnancy progresses and your body changes, you need to change your exercise habits. Your center of gravity changes, so you have to adapt your exercise to account for that. As your abdomen grows larger, you won't be able to do some activities comfortably. You may have to stop other activities entirely.
Feeling Out of Breath
Your growing abdomen can put a strain on your respiratory system, causing you to feel out of breath sooner than normal. When you exercise, don't work to the point that you can't talk and you have trouble breathing. This indicates you're working too strenuously; cut back on your workout.
When you're pregnant, you normally feel warmer than usual. You'l feel warmer still when you exercise, so try to avoid becoming overheated during workouts. Work out in a well-ventilated room, and drink lots of water while you exercise.
Types of Exercises
The following simple pregnancy exercises for normal delivery can help an expectant mother:
The following simple pregnancy exercises for normal delivery can help an expectant mother:
Walking is the best form of exercise for pregnant women and it can be done during the entire duration of pregnancy. It maintains the overall well-being of the mother to be. It helps to keep problems like high-blood pressure, constipation and restlessness, under control. Walk for about quarter to half of an hour in the mornings and evenings.
It is the most advantageous aerobatic exercise that gives you a total workout and facilitates movement for the baby too. Walking is the right remedy for multiple problems like constipation, high blood pressure and restlessness. You should walk for at least 15-30 minutes in the morning and for about half an hour in the evening. Outdoor walking is more beneficial than indoor walking. You must choose long distances and walk slowly. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid the risk of falling. Walking is beneficial to the pregnant mother as well as the unborn baby. Do not walk briskly and do not over-do the walking.
This is a contraction exercise of virginal muscles, which play an important role during labor and delivery. To do this exercise, try to stop the flow of your urine during mid-stream. Hold for about five seconds and release. Repeat the steps about 8 times. You can also practice it while sitting or lying in bed,
Yoga consists of postures, which benefit the body greatly without putting physical stress on it. It makes the muscles flexible and relaxes the body. Yoga consists of certain pregnancy exercises for normal delivery, which involve squatting and the pelvic area. A stretch called ‘cobbler pose’ is especially beneficial for this purpose.
The purpose of these exercises is to regulate breathing rhythm and heartbeat and build stamina for physical labor. Child labor and delivery is extremely demanding on the body. Therefore, these pregnancy exercises for normal delivery prepare your body for the extreme physical labor. Besides walking, swimming, dancing and stationary biking can be practiced. Do not perform any strenuous exercises.
1. Swimming: Swimming is one of the fastest exercises that fitness experts recommend for the pregnant women. It not only builds your muscles, but also keeps your body fit without adding any eight or stress. It avoids muscle injury or strain. It is a sort of cardiovascular exercise that regulates and maintains your heart beat. Moreover, water acts as a coolant and also prevents the swelling of your legs.
2. Cycling/Biking: Cycling is another beneficial exercise. It is better to practice it on a stationary bike, as the center of gravity moves as you grow due to which the chances of falling while actually cycling are more. It becomes difficult to maintain the balance as the baby grows and tummy expands. To avoid excess stress, you must cycle slowly. You must ensure that you do not overdo the exercise.
3. Jogging and Running: Running and jogging are useful exercises for the pregnant women. If you have been doing exercise and jogging before you were pregnant, it is no harm if you continue doing so during your pregnancy days. On the other hand, if you are into this particular exercise for the first time, you must consult your doctor at the start itself. Your doctor will guide and give you instructions about how much distance to cover and for how much time you should do the exercise. While jogging or running, you must ensure that you are wearing good shoes and are hydrated enough.
If you are used to playing a competitive sport, such as tennis, you should be able to continue to play, but expect to reduce the competition level. The point to remember is don't get carried away or overwork yourself.
Some less strenuous sports are listed below.
The best exercises during pregnancy are walking and swimming.
Most are generally considered safe for a normal, low-risk pregnancy:
-Low-impact aerobics designed especially for pregnancy
-Regular cycling (if you're experienced)
-Jogging (if you jogged before pregnancy)
-Tennis (played moderately)
-Walking on a treadmill
-Using a stair stepper or stair climber
-Riding a recumbent bike
-Using a Nordic Track® ski machine
-Weight training, if you have been active in it before pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time to maintain your workout and not increase it. After the first half of the pregnancy, as the uterus enlarges, it is better not to lie flat on your back.
During pregnancy, avoid the riskier sports listed below:
- Scuba diving
- Horseback riding
- Downhill skiing or cross-country skiing
- any Contact Sport
Aerobics classes specifically designed for pregnant women are a good choice. They concentrate on the unique needs of the pregnant woman, such as strengthening abdominal muscles and improving posture. When choosing a class, be sure the instructor has proper training and the class meets the exercise guidelines developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Eating and Exercise
Your nutrition needs increase during pregnancy, and you burn extra calories during exercise, so eat enough calories to ensures balanced diet. As I've already discussed, a woman of normal weight before pregnancy needs to eat between 300 and 800 extra calories a day during pregnancy. Exercising may increase your needs.
As always, be sure you consult with your physician before you begin any exercise program. Follow the tips below to keep you healthy and in good shape.
-Stop immediately and consult your physician if you experience any problems.
-Exercise at least 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each time.
-Start your exercise routine with a 5-minute warm-up and end with a 5-minute cool-down period.
-Wear comfortable clothes that offer support, including a support bra and good athletic shoes.
-Drink plenty of water during exercise.
-Don't exercise strenuously for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
-Check your pulse rate; keep it below 140 beats a minute.
-Don't exercise in hot, humid weather.
-After 16 weeks of pregnancy, avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back.
-Never allow your body temperature to rise above 100.4F (38C).
Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy
Pregnancy exercises for normal delivery also help women to stay healthy and strong besides preparing the body for child labor and delivery. It makes them more energetic, eases stress on the back and minimizes other pregnancy related pain. It improves the sleep, hence boosting overall health. It also helps the body to recover fast after delivery.
However, each pregnancy is different and may have some complications, due to which exercise may not be recommended. Always consult your obstetrician before carrying out any exercises.
Effects of Exercise on Labor and Delivery
Exercise during pregnancy should help you have an easier time with your labor and delivery. Many believe that women who exercise during pregnancy have a shorter recovery time after birth. Exercise keeps you fit so you can get back in shape more quickly.