Risks of exercising during Pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy is strongly advocated. Medical and health associations universally endorse regular exercise, citing the benefits for both the mother and child. But there are risks you should be aware of, and warning signs to pay attention to.

The only real words of warning with respect to exercising during pregnancy in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines were that “High-intensity or prolonged exercise in excess of 45 minutes can lead to hypoglycemia” (low blood sugar). So make sure you consume sufficient calories prior to and after undertaking this kind of exercise.

Also, pregnant women should be careful about overheating. Therefore you should avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions, and places where overheating may occur, such as saunas, spas, or heated pools. In many of the guidelines I read hot yoga classes (bikram) were not advised. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising, and take regular breaks. You should choose activities that minimise the risk of loss of balance or fetal trauma.

Fitness Australia’s 2016 guidelines for exercise during pregnancy published the following as a list of warning signs that you should stop exercise and seek medical advice:

  •         Excessive shortness of breath
  •         Dizziness or feeling faint
  •         Fainting Headaches
  •         Chest pain or palpitations
  •         Blurred vision
  •         New or persistent nausea or vomiting
  •         Calf pain or swelling, or unusual muscle weakness
  •         Any kind of pain or numbness
  •         Excess fatigue after exercise
  •         Vaginal bleeding
  •         Abdominal cramps or pain
  •         Intense or new back pain
  •         Contractions
  •         Leaking of amniotic fluid
  •         Reduced movements of baby

Both the Sanarte Nurture Mat and Base Brace can be used during pregnancy and after giving birth. The Mat is engraved with a series of exercises designed by osteopaths and physiotherapists to strengthen your core, pelvic floor, and improve your hip and lower back mobility. The Base Brace can be adjusted to provide maximum support in your lower back, great for reducing pain in daily life and especially with difficult tasks like lifting.

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