Tips Regarding Exercising While Pregnant

Posted on October 25th, 2012

 Many women are unsure about what exercises they should or should not be doing during pregnancy.

Here are some simple tips to ensure that both you and your baby stay safe and healthy:

  1. Stick to low-impact exercise, such as walking and swimming (avoiding frog kick if you suffer from pelvic pain)
  2. If you were already fit and active, it is ok to maintain your activity with moderation, but do not increase the intensity while you are pregnant. If you were not fit and active prior to being pregnant, it is still recommended that you start – but consult your doctor prior to starting an exercise regime.
  3. Avoid contact sports, high impact exercise and activities that involve sudden changes in direction – no running/jumping
  4. Avoid any activity that has a high risk of falling over – no skiing/horse riding
  5. Avoid any stretches that increase the arch in your lower back or involve wide separation of your legs, particularly if you experience back or pelvic pain
  6. Avoid deep squats, double leg lifts, sit ups, crunches and any other exercise that you feel pushes down on your pelvic floor or causes you to leak urine
  7. Avoid any exercises that cause you pain
  8. Do not let your heart rate exceed 140 beats per minute and do not exercise to the point of feeling short of breath (you should be able to maintain conversation as you exercise)
  9. Do not exercise in the heat of the day & keep well hydrated
  10. Stop exercise and see your doctor if you experience any pain, vaginal bleeding or amniotic fluid leakage, contractions, reduced foetal movements, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, or any other unusual symptoms while exercising. Use your common sense and be conservative.

If you still have any questions regarding exercising while pregnant consult a Physiotherapist, and we can give you tailored advice and exercises.

Pregnancy Pains

Posted on October 8th, 2012

It is very common for women to experience a variety of aches and pains while they are pregnant, particularly towards the end of pregnancy. Three of the most common complaints include low back pain, pelvic pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Low back pain:

The pregnant belly can put a lot of extra strain through the lower back as it causes an increase in the natural curve of the spine. This increased curve puts pressure on the joints of the spine and causes the muscles in the lower back to become tight.

The management of low back pain during pregnancy includes heat packs for pain-relief, postural correction, massage and stretches to relax tight muscles, and strengthening of the postural support muscles.

Pelvic Pain:

Pain around the pelvic region, particularly in the buttock and groin, are common during pregnancy. These pains result from the pregnancy hormone relaxin which causes the joints and ligaments of the body (particularly the pelvis) to relax and stretch in preparation for labour. When the very stable joints of the pelvis are affected by relaxin, the muscles surrounding the pelvis will spasm in an attempt to limit the extra movement. This can result in pain in the buttock, groin and thighs, particularly with asymmetrical movements.

The management of pelvic pain during pregnancy includes the use of a supportive belt, strengthening of the pelvic floor and core muscles, massage and stretches to relax tight muscles, and modification of activities.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or tingling in the hands, is common during pregnancy and is caused by increased fluid in the body causing compression of the nerves in the wrist. The tingling is often worst upon waking in the morning due to a build up of fluid overnight.

The management of carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy includes wrist bracing at night, circulation exercises for the wrist and hand, and contrast (alternating hot/cold) bathing.

If you are experiencing any aches and pains associated with your pregnancy, make an appointment with our women’s health physiotherapist, Lauren, to get tailored advice and exercises.