Exercise during pregnancy
Have you recently discovered you are pregnant? Congratulations!!! This is a time when you want to enjoy yourself but it can also be a time full of emotions and thoughts. It’s very common to feel uncertain about what you can and can’t do, should and shouldn’t do, in all areas of your life. To dispel doubts and questions about exercising during pregnancy, here we list all the facts about exercise during pregnancy for you!
Is it ‘safe’ for me to continue group classes during pregnancy?
If your pregnancy is classed as low-risk by the medical team caring for you, it’s safe and, in fact, very healthy to continue regular physical activity. Whatever your body was used to doing before pregnancy, from yoga to running to swimming to strength training, is a brilliant place to start.
It’s the intensity of the training that you need to modify. Instead of aiming for progressions and personal bests, you should aim for happy, healthy movement that keeps your limbs loose and muscles toned. Your body is going through the most intense work-out of its life, a 9-month long workout (and that’s before we get to parenting!), so there’s no need to push yourself to the limit in class.
There is no evidence of regular, moderate physical activity causing adverse effects on low-risk pregnancies. In fact, there is a lot to suggest how beneficial physical activity is during pregnancy, for the body and mind. So, keep moving, in whatever way feels right for your body on that day.
a few things to keep in mind for the coming months
Weeks 1 till 12
In the first trimester (weeks 1-12), your body is literally going from zero to hero, from nothing to something, and everything inside is still very delicate. It’s also common to feel low in energy, nauseous or dizzy. This is the trimester to focus on walking as the main form of movement. As the weeks progress, nausea should decrease, so naturally you’ll start to feel ready to increase your movement levels. But slow and very steady is the answer for the first three months.
Weeks 13 till 26
In the second trimester (weeks 13-26), you’ll hopefully feel a renewed sense of energy. Now is the time to work back towards your ‘normal’ movement routine, with moderated intensity. Your body will now be producing relaxin, a hormone designed to loosen your muscles in preparation for what’s to come. Therefore, go easy on the forward folds and stretches. Keep reminding yourself, movement during pregnancy is not about hitting your max; it’s about regular but gentle activity. Check our Mama Flow and Mama Strong classes for sure!
Weeks 27 till 42
In the third trimester (weeks 27-42), you might start to feel a little heavier and even unstable. Shortness of breath is also more noticeable now. Keep listening to your body. Remember it’s on a 24-7 work-out of a lifetime. Respect and honour that. Do only what feels positive for and additive to your body.
From birth and beyond
In the fourth trimester (from birth and beyond), you will likely feel quite drained, sometimes exhausted. Your body has a lot to recover from, and still has a lot to do. Again, respect and honour its work. You will know when it feels right to start moving again. Gentle walks can happen quite quickly (it’s a great way to soothe a baby to sleep!).
For everything after that, take your time.
Yoga, running, strength training – they’re not going anywhere. This is a hugely special time that you can’t relive. Absorb every moment, treasure the memories as they’re created. We’ll see you on the mat at some point, we know we will.
Still unsure or have further questions?
If you’re still feeling unsure or would like more guidance, we can highly recommend a Private One-on-One session with Maggie Walker (certified in Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, Childbirth Education and Doula service, with over 13 years’ experience). Maggie can address any specific concerns you may have and tailor your movement to exactly what you need.
Questions? Send an e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
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