Exercise makes you feel and look good. Your doctor wants to be sure you set up a safe exercise program. It is important that you know of any risks that could affect both you and your growing baby. If you provide your doctor with accurate information about the kind of exercise, frequency, and intensity you are used to or would like, a satisfactory exercise program can be set up to carry you through your pregnancy.
Yes! Your doctor may tell you to avoid exercise if:
Choose exercise shoes that feel secure and help your balance. Support hose can help your legs feel better during and after exercise. Watch how you put your feet down, especially if you are planning to walk and there is ice outside. If you need to increase your bra size, you might go right into a nursing bra if you plan to nurse, or you may need an athletic bra for more support during your workouts. Put your feet up with pride as this allows any swelling of your ankles to go down. Your body is working hard helping your baby grow, 24 hours a day!
It is NOT a good idea to take up a new sport while pregnant. But you can begin something that is on the “good for pregnancy” list; that will give you a head start in beginning tennis after your baby is born. Some good sports are: Yoga (without breath holding), swimming, pregnancy classes, stationary bicycling (gently), easy stretching (but not to your limit), and don’t forget about daily walking in fresh air!
There are several things to remember. Being pregnant is not being fat. Exercise does release a chemical into the body called “endorphins” which gives you that feeling of well being. Even with adjustments, your body will have that feeling of “well being.” Lastly, gaining weight in the mid 20 to mid 30 pound range is healthy. This may vary depending on your weight before getting pregnant. Your doctor will give you more information on this. Your baby’s size and health depends on this increased nutrition (not candy, cola, and chips). You must normally INCREASE calories during exercise for your pregnancy and INCREASE calories and fluid over and above that for exercise. If you do not have enough calories, your body can go into a chemical state called ketosis, which can cause developmental problems for your baby. If you don’t get enough calories regularly during pregnancy, your baby may not grow as well.
Begin very slowly with low intensity. Remember, even if you are in great shape, you will not be able to do what you did before you became pregnant. Pregnancy is a special time and requires not lower goals, but special ones to help you and your growing child feel happy and stay well.
Your baby will be growing safely. You will feel and look good. It will make it easier to return to the exercise program of your choice after the birth of the baby.
If any of the following happen to you, stop what you are doing and call your doctor immediately:
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