It might come as a surprise to some, but women can definitely work out while they're expecting. Any mom-to-be can keep her fitness routine in track for at least the first few months, provided that she has proper guidance from her doctor. Below, Dr. Jaycy Violago guides us through the basics.
"First and foremost, every woman is different and every pregnancy is unique," the doctor clarifies, adding that some women may have a higher risk of threatened abortion or threatened preterm labor, so approved workouts aren't a one-size-fits-all.
Dr. Jaycy continues, "With that in mind, before a pregnant woman engages in any physical workout during her course of pregnancy, she must see her OBGYN first for better assessment and to be properly advised of workouts that would suit her." This personal consultation is essential, since it'll allow you to find out what you can and can't do in specific stages. No guesswork here!
"Generally, it would also be advised to prevent strenuous activities during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester," says the doctor. Some low-intensity workouts that she recommends are walking, yoga, swimming, or Pilates. "These will not overly stress the body and instead are slow and/or focused workouts," she adds.
Moreover, Dr. Jaycy warns that even women who were physically active before pregnancy need to adapt to the intensity of their exercises, "They can no longer engage in moderate to heavy workouts, but instead do easy to mild, preferably isometric workouts."
According to Mayoclinic, isometric exercises are done without changing position. The muscles remain at the same length, while the joint affected stays in one position. Good examples of this are planking, wall sits, lunges and stretching.
Also, note that working out isn't your only option for staying fit while pregnant. "If they are worried [about] their weight, proper diet and nutrition can also help maintain a healthy body, keeping in mind that baby’s nutritional needs are also met," Dr. Jaycy advises.
Heard that? Don't put too much pressure on yourselves, moms-to-be!