If you’ve ever watched a classic film from the 1940s, and there’s a character who’s pregnant in it, you’ll likely notice that they are encouraged to avoid any strenuous activity and take it as easy as possible. Now, however, it’s common knowledge that exercise is an essential for a healthy pregnancy.
As a trusted obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Peter Khamvongsa provides advanced prenatal care to mothers-to-be, even if they fall within a high-risk category. His caring approach, extensive experience, and sincere interest in each of his patients make him a clinician you can trust.
Why is exercise encouraged during pregnancy?
Staying physically active while you’re pregnant is a good thing. It used to be feared that exercise increased your risk for miscarriage, premature birth, or giving birth to a low-birth weight baby (a baby who’s born under 5 pounds, 8 ounces). Fortunately, we now know this to be false.
Exercising throughout your pregnancy has been shown to:
- Help you shed postpartum weight
- Reduce constipation
- Relieve back pain
- Boost mood
- Strengthen your heart
- Potentially reduce your gestational diabetes and preeclampsia risk
- Potentially lower your chances of needing a C-section
The key to safe exercise during pregnancy is making sure to engage in the right activities according to how far along you are in your pregnancy. Dr. Khamvongsa is happy to counsel you on the best exercises for your stage of pregnancy, even if your pregnancy has been identified as high-risk.
I’m in my final trimester of pregnancy — what exercises are safe?
You’ve still got quite a few enjoyable activity choices if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy. During the final trimester, you might be feeling a bit big and ungainly, but you can still be active if you’re careful about what activities you choose and you avoid any fall risks. Consider these activities:
1. Take a walk
This no-cost activity allows you to move comfortably, enjoy the outdoors, and give your body a good overall workout. Plus, walking is low impact, so you don’t put much stress on your joints or muscles.
2. Dive right in
Swimming is another exercise that’s fantastic in your third trimester. In the water, you float and, again, don’t put pressure on your joints, yet your muscles are challenged. Doing gentle laps is meditative, while water aerobics is a fun group activity.
3. Yoga and Pilates — but modified
These gentle exercises don’t demand too much from your body, and they prepare for labor by strengthening your core and pelvic floor. Yoga in particular helps with stress management during pregnancy, and we all know how much expectant moms have on their minds!
The other thing to remember is that there are classes specially designed for pregnant women, but if you’re in a standard class, talk to your teacher about movement modifications to ensure your comfort and safety. Also, don’t take the “hot” versions of these classes.
4. Home is where the (healthy) heart is
If you just acquire a few exercise tools, you can enjoy an array of exercises safely, in the comfort of your own home. Arm and leg lifts, squats, lunges, and more can help you stay fit during pregnancy, and with balance, and it’s safe to do these with or without light weights.
5. Feel the music
A gentle dance class at your gym or even in your kitchen at home is great exercise — just remember to take it easy, don’t overexert yourself, and avoid moves that put your balance at risk.
During your pregnancy, exercises to eschew include contact sports, downhill skiing, and any activity where you jump or bounce.
If you have any questions about exercises that are right for you, or that might pose risks, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Khamvongsa about it. He’s here for you throughout your entire pregnancy journey, and knows that so many questions arise as you navigate those eventful nine months. Committing now to get the very best prenatal care is an important gift you give both yourself and your baby.
Call the Miami Institute for Women’s Health to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khamvongsa at 786-220-2184 or book one online.