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Pregnancy Exercises and General Guidelines

Dr. Ankur
April 13, 2011


Staying fit and active is one of the many ways to have a healthy pregnancy and an equally healthy baby apart from customary check ups and intake of medicines. Though one cannot perform all the exercises that one would do, prior to getting pregnant, there are a few pregnancy exercises which not only benefit the body physically but also takes care of the emotional well-being of the would be mother.

Prenatal yoga:

Prenatal yoga is a part of a normal yoga which suggests asanas especially for the pregnant women. These pregnancy exercises are designed in such a way so as to put minimum stress on the expectant woman as well as the unborn fetus. Prenatal yoga is a wholesome package of exercises which makes a woman well prepared for the labor and birth of the child. The physical benefits of prenatal yoga include-

  • Increase in the flexibility and strength of muscles by stretching the muscles gently.
  • Improvement in the blood circulation and other lymphatic movements
  • Considerable decrease in water retention after sitting for long hours.
  • Strengthening of pelvic muscles as they are responsible to hold the uterus in place.
  • Pain management during labor and birth of the child
  •  Management of blood pressure to reduce the occurrence of pre-eclampsia.


Weight training:

To ensure a smooth pregnancy, one needs to maintain a fit body and excellent muscle condition. Weight training allows a person to strengthen and tone the muscles. These pregnancy exercises are done with free weights and help in building stamina which is especially required during the labor period. Here are some tips to remember while doing weight training.

  • Do not pick up weights while you are standing. If you have to, then bend your legs and sit down so that the pressure of the weight is supported by your legs instead of your back.
  • Do not force yourself to go beyond a point while exercising.
  • Do not exert pressure while holding your breath. This may cause pressure in the abdominal region and affect the blood pressure.

Low impact aerobics:

Low impact aerobics also has a branch of pregnancy exercises which helps in making your heart and lungs stronger. This means that this form of exercise does not include any rigorous activity. Therefore, there is less stress on the joints of the body. These exercises strengthen the core and supporting muscle groups. Towards the last months of your third trimester, you can stop doing these exercises without any harm. Remember not to indulge in low impact aerobics if you have a weak pelvis or are carrying the child low in your uterus. Here are some tips to follow while performing low impact aerobics.

  • Avoid jerky movements or sudden changes in the direction of your body
  • Pull in your abdomen but do not hold your breath while lifting your knees off the floor. By not doing so, you can pass urine involuntarily.
  • Maintain your balance and stability while doing these exercises.

These pregnancy exercises listed above are for every woman irrespective whether she was a home bird or a gym bunny. However, ensure to consult your obstetrician before taking up any form of exercise. Your doctor will advise you the right exercise depending on your level of energy and stamina.



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