Overall, a vast majority of regular exercises are safe for pregnant women. What matters more than the action itself, is the health of the mother-to-be and the state of the pregnancy. Expecting mothers should always speak with a medical professional or trained therapist with experience in the matter if they have questions. If you were physically active before pregnancy, you should be able to maintain most of your regimen. Never attempt to manage your average level of exertion, though. Do what's comfortable. It's likely your energy levels will diminish over time. Do not feel you have to feel the burn.
If there are preexisting medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, exercise is not recommended during a pregnancy. There are cases where exercise could actually be harmful, causing low placenta, potential for miscarriage, spotting or bleeding, a weak cervix, and complications during future pregnancies. Again, clear any regimen with your doctor or a counselor at a Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine clinic should be followed.
Whatever exercise you may engage in, you should have a focus on stretching. This is a full body, low impact workout that increases flexibility, prevents muscle tightening, keeps you loose and relaxed, and benefits everything from blood flow to blood pressure. Pregnant women need to be active, as they can become victims of back pain, low energy, and weight gain. Here are some stretches you can do on a daily basis to help during this time.
Seated or standing, slowly rotate the shoulders in large circles. Do reps taking turns between backwards and forwards circles. Be sure to breathe as you do this, and relax the neck.
Place hands on opposite sides of a doorway, elbows bent, at shoulder height. Step forward until there's a slight stretch in chest muscles. Hold for 30 seconds then switch feet.
With your back against the wall, feet shoulder width apart and a comfortable distance from the wall, bend the knees slightly. As you exhale, draw in the abs, moving chin to the chest as you roll the torso down. Continue rolling, stopping at any discomfort. Inhale and exhale as you roll up, letting your head be the last part to uncurl. During later stages of pregnancy, this can be done seated.
Calf Stretch and Wall Push Ups
Stand about two feet from a wall with hands on the wall. Lean forward, bending at the elbows on exhale. Do not lift the heel. This will stretch calves. Contract abs as you exhale and push away from wall. Repeat.
These stretches will not only be excellent workouts for expecting women, they are also excellent ways to warm-up for your other exercises. Be sure to stay safe and smart as you exercise during your pregnancy.