Pregnancy and exercise: a published guide for pregnant women
Regular physical activity is recommended at any age in life. But during pregnancy, due to fatigue, shortness of breath or even lack of time, it can be difficult to play sports. Furthermore, not all sports are recommended, due to the risk of falling and the impacts they induce, or their dangerousness.
To help pregnant women see more clearly what they can or cannot do in terms of physical activities, the Ministry in charge of Sports has announced the release of a “guide to sports practice during maternity”. Because sports practice during pregnancy allows you to “significantly reduce the risk of preterm birth or the subsequent risk of overweight, even obesity and presents real benefits for the fetus ”, he indicates in a communicated.
Note that the practice of sport during pregnancy makes it possible in particular to limit weight gain and to benefit from better blood circulation, an asset against heavy legs.
Produced in collaboration with health professionals (two doctors, a gynecologist and four midwives) and the general direction of social cohesion, this guide aims to give future mothers all the advice and resources on the subject of playing sports during pregnancy : possible activities at the different stages of pregnancy and after childbirth, simple exercises and movements adapted to each person’s feelings, desires, needs, the different sports federations, Maisons Sports Santé, etc.
In detail, the guide includes explanations of changes to the body during pregnancy, the interest and benefits of physical exercise when you are pregnant, and a questionnaire on fitness for physical activity. It is available on the ministry’s website.
Athletic and pregnant: essential medical advice
Exercise is not contraindicated during pregnancy, but if you are an avid athlete, you may need to change your practice. The advice of your doctor is in any case essential before continuing your activity or starting a new one.
Swimming, the sport best suited to pregnancy
Swimming remains the most suitable sport for pregnant women. Swimming has many advantages:
- you will be able strengthen all your muscles and in particular the abdomen, the back, the perineum, the thighs;
- you will also work breathing and increase your heart capacity.
Prolonged apnea, as with scuba diving, is not recommended, but underwater blocking your breathing for a few seconds is very beneficial. This exercise prepares you for the day of childbirth knowing that swimming is allowed until the end of your pregnancy except in case of opening of the uterine cervix.
Swim on your back or side
- Regarding the type of exercise, opt for swimming on the back or on the side. It is in these positions that you will feel most comfortable.
- As for the water temperature, lukewarm is perfect: between 22 and 24 ° C. Saunas, much too hot, are also not recommended for the pregnant woman and her baby.
- Finally if you can, do a few aquagym sessions, because the practice of water aerobics is a good way to exercise your body without too much effort.
Note that there is the possibility of preparation for childbirth in the swimming pool, where relaxation and breathing are on the program.
Also read: What type of swimming for what benefits?
4 gentle and safe sports activities during pregnancy
Unless there are contraindications, walking is a sporting activity more than recommended for expectant mothers. Simple, inexpensive, walking is guaranteed good breathing and bodybuilding. But no need to do trekking and other hikes if you are not sporty at the base.
Half an hour of daily walking will do well. Put on tennis shoes and take a calm step forward in order to control your breathing because you will tend to get out of breath. The whole on a ground not too uneven.
Gym, dance and yoga
Here are three things you can do while pregnant.
- Dancing and gentle gymnastics allow your body to talk about bodybuilding and breathing.
- Yoga promotes relaxation.
The condition : sweetness. Obviously no acrobatic dance, but more classical or rhythmic dance. There are courses in some gyms entirely intended for mothers-to-be, find out.
In all cases, adapt your pace to the progress of your pregnancy. Do shorter sessions in late pregnancy and slowly stop with stretching and / or relaxation.
Sports to limit or avoid during pregnancy
Difficult to practice certain sports to the end
The hiking, the bicycle, running (jogging), the ski or the tennis are activities that you will not be able to do until the last day.
First of all all risk of falling must be eliminated. From the second trimester your belly will round and shift your center of gravity. Consequence: you will tend to fall more easily. And all the sports mentioned require a dose of balance. For example, the bicycle is exercised only on flat roads and until the fifth month.
With skiing, you will quickly feel breathing constraints with altitude.
But each case is individual and depends on your habits, your experience. If you ski really well and never fall, you may be able to hit the slopes for longer. Do not hesitate to talk about it with your doctor or midwife.
High-risk sports, rather incompatible with pregnancy
Maintaining reasonable physical activity during these nine months is advised. Nevertheless it is necessary avoid all so-called violent sports (combat sports, contact sports) because trauma can put the life and health of your baby in danger.
- We find in the category of sports at risk: horse riding, judo, karate, windsurfing or rollerblading.
- In general, there are also all team sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.) which can lead to blows, falls, shocks.
- We also removes all mechanical sports such as motorcycles, car racing. We advocate moderation of the effort to the maximum so as not to add additional fatigue to a pregnancy that is already exhausting. You have to be able to move regularly without danger.