Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exercise During Pregnancy

Exercise is important for a healthy pregnancy. Exercise can help you look and feel better. Talk with your health care provider about what exercises are safe for you. Pregnancy is not a time for new activities. Swimming, walking and relaxation exercises are safe exercises for pregnant women.

When you exercise:
  • Wear comfortable, loose clothes.
  • Drink plenty of water during exercise.
  • Eat a snack an hour before.
  • Don't become overheated.
  • Warm up.
  • Never exercise to the point of pain, exhaustion or breathlessness.
  • Don't lie on your back.
  • Cool down after.

The following exercises will help prepare you for labor and delivery.

A. Kegel (Kay-gul) Exercise:
This exercise will strengthen the muscles around vagina. It will allow you to relax these muscles during delivery. It is the most important exercise.
[How to do Kegel Exercise]
  1. To get the feel of the muscles, stop and start your urine when you use the toilet.
  2. Try to tighten these muscles from front to back.
  3. Practice while you sit, stand, walk, drive or watch TV.
  4. Do these exercises 2-3 times each day...morning, afternoon, and evening.
  5. Start with 5 kegels each session. Work up to 25 times each session.
 After your baby is born, keep doing kegels to restore your pelvic muscle tone.
B. Tailor Sit
This exercise will strengthen your inner thighs and increase your blood flow.
[How to do the Tailor Sit]
  1. Sit on the floor with your ankles crossed.
  2. Pull your feet as close to your body as you can.
  3. Relax and hold this position as long as you are comfortable.
  4. Do this at least three times a day.
C. Knee Press
This will strengthen your inner thighs. It will stretch your lower back. It will increase your blood flow.
[How to do the Knee Press]
  1. Sit on the floor.
  2. Pull your feet together with soles touching.
  3. Bring your feet as near to your body as you can without feeling uncomfortable.
  4. Keep your back straight and place your hands on your knees.
  5. Press your knees slowly and gently to the floor with your hand.
  6. Hold your knees to the floor and count to three.
  7. Repeat 10 times, twice a day.
D. The Pelvic Rock / The Pelvic Tilt
This will strengthen your tummy muscles. It will relieve backaches and increase your blood flow.
[How to do The Pelvic Rock]
  1. Get down on your hands and knees with your arms straight.
  2. Relax your back.
  3. Keep your head in a straight line with your pelvis.
  4. Hump your back, tighten your tummy muscles and your buttock muscles.
  5. Drop you head all the way down and pull your pelvis toward your chin.
  6. Relax your back and raise your head.
  7. Do this slowly and evenly 10 times each day.
Warning Signs:
Stop exercising and call your primary care provider if you have any of the following problems:
  • Pain
  • Vaginal Bleeding or Leaking of Fluid
  • Dizziness or Faintness
  • Abdominal Pain or Cramping
  • Headaches or Blurred Vision
  • Chest Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Increased Shortness of Breath
Talk to your primary care provider if you are currently exercising regularly or if you plan to start a new exercise program. Your provider will tell you what you can do while you are pregnant.

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