In the past, and even currently, there has been a lot of false information about exercise and pregnancy. Due to lack of research, doctors have often erred on the side of extreme caution, leaving their patients scared and confused. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the governing body for this type of information and the standard by which Pea in the Pod Fitness trains it’s clients. Obviously, no woman is the same, no pregnancy is the same, and hence no training program will be exactly the same. However, there are some general guidelines for exercise during this time period that are laid out by the ACOG and should be followed with care.
Guidelines as laid out by the ACOG:
(These are for women who do not have additional risk factors for adverse maternal or perinatal outcomes)
*In general, participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears to be safe.
*In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, pregnant women can adopt the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The American College of Sports Medicine recommendation of 30 minutes or more or moderate exercise on most, if not all days of the week.
*Previously active women and those with medical or obstetrical complications should be evaluated before recommendations for physical activity during pregnancy are made.
*A physically active woman with a history of or risk of preterm labor or fetal growth restriction should be advised to reduce her activity in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
*Prenant women should avoid the supine position during exercise as much as possible after the 1st trimester due to the relative obstruction of the venous return and possible resulting decreased cardiac output and orthostatic hypotension. Motionless standing is also associated with a significant decrease in cardiac output and should be avoided as much as possible.
*Recreational and competitive athletes with uncomplicated pregnancies can remain active during pregnancy and should moidfy their usual exercise routines as medically indicated. Participation in recreational sports with a high potential for contact such as ice hockey, soccer, and basketball could result in trauma to the woman and fetus. Recreational sports with an increased risk for falling such as gymnastics, horseback riding, downhill skiing, or vigorous racquet sports have an inherently high risk for trauma in pregnancy and non-pregnancy. Scuba diving poses an increased risk to the fetus for decompression sickness, secondary to the inability of the fetal pulmonary circulation to filter bubble formation. These high-risk activities should be avoided during pregnancy. Exertion at altitudes of 6,000 feet or less appears to be safe; however, engaging in physical activity at higher altitudes carries various risks.
*Pregnancy exercise routines may be resumed gradually postpartum as soon as it is physically and medically safe. The resumption of exercise will vary from one woman to another, with some women resuming an exercise routine within days of delivery.
*Moderate weight reduction while nursing is safe and does not compromise neonatal weight gain.
*A return to physical activity after pregnancy has been associated with decreased incidence of postpartum depression, as long as the exercise is stress relieving and not stress provoking.
For a complete copy for the ACOG committee opinion on Exercise during Pregnancy and Postpartum visit www.ACOG.org
Although, we now know that is safe and suggested for women to exercise during pregnancy is important to proceed with caution. All potential clients of Pea in the Pod Fitness must receive doctor clearance before participating in an exercise program. Women who plan to exercise on their own should always speak with their doctors about their current program. As always, listen to your body. Now is not the time to push yourself or focus on vanity and weight loss. Now is the time to turn inward and care for yourself and your baby with a healthy program of nutrition and fitness.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!