Exercise is a cornerstone of good health, especially for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or navigating postpartum life.
At Alpha OB GYN, our skilled pregnancy specialist Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG, provides resources that help women get the exercise they need to stay healthy. Dr. Reddy can recommend what exercises you can do safely before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Exercise offers many benefits for pregnant and postpartum women. One of the biggest benefits of daily exercise is weight management. While you can expect to gain weight during pregnancy, too much weight can lead to serious health complications for you and your baby.
Additionally, women who continue exercising regularly throughout pregnancy and postpartum can lose the baby weight more efficiently.
Other benefits of exercise for pregnant and postpartum women are that it:
Women planning to become pregnant should also stay physically active to improve their fertility. Regular exercise promotes hormone balance, improves blood sugar (glucose) levels, and reduces stress on the body.
These benefits improve your chances of conceiving a viable pregnancy naturally or through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Moderate physical activity every day has many benefits for women’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant and postpartum women should aim to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week. That averages out to about 21.4 minutes daily.
Activities of moderate intensity include brisk walking, yoga, and muscle-building workouts with resistance bands. If you find such workouts difficult, especially as you get closer to your due date, consider working out in a swimming pool.
If you’re used to more vigorous workouts, such as running, you can likely continue the same routine while pregnant and after childbirth. However, you may need to modify your daily exercise plan if you have a high-risk pregnancy or other health complications.
You shouldn’t start any new exercise regimen without first consulting with Dr. Reddy. She can evaluate your specific health and pregnancy needs during your prenatal and postpartum visits to ensure higher-impact exercises are safe for you.
While exercise may not be something you love to do, there are ways to stay with a program that works well for you.
In general, you should look for physical activities that you actually enjoy doing. Don’t run to the nearest gym or sign up for an expensive program. Instead, start with a daily walk through your neighborhood to get your blood moving. Enlist your partner or a friend to walk with you to keep you motivated.
If you want to do more than just walk, consider signing up for a yoga class. There are even prenatal yoga classes you can take that are designed specifically for pregnant women.
If you’re unsure what exercises to do before, during, or after pregnancy, speak with Dr. Reddy for suggestions. She can recommend a program that suits your existing health and wellness goals.
Call the Alpha OB GYN office near you to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.