More and more women recognize that moderate exercise during pregnancy can boost your mood, improve sleep, increase energy and more. A good rule of thumb is that you may continue working out as you had before pregnancy, but if you are new to working out, start slow.
A recent study surveyed 1,800 pregnant women in the US who cut back on exercise when stay-at-home orders were in effect between April and June. These women reported significantly higher depression than their counterparts who kept a regular exercise routine, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Check with Your Doctor First
An expectant mother’s exercise is good for her, and her baby. Working out at least 30 minutes three times a week nurtures fetuses and encourages heart health. Researchers at the University of Montreal say there is a link between active pregnancies and advanced neurodevelopment in newborns.
Keeping prenatal appointments and checking in with your doctor is key to exercising safely during pregnancy. Your doctor can provide the best recommendations for you.
Benefits of prenatal yoga may include better sleep, less back pain, fewer headaches, and reduced nausea—along with reduced stress and anxiety. Prenatal yoga may help you prepare for labor and assist you in working through contractions during labor. The right yoga techniques encourage stretching and increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of your muscles.
Prenatal Yoga | Down Dog offers special yoga positions that can stretch out your lower back to relieve pressure. Try yoga routines customized for each trimester of pregnancy, along with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. The app is available at the Apple App Store (click here) and at Google Play (click here).
Glo offers prenatal yoga video classes designed to support mothers-to-be in meeting their changing physical and emotional needs. A free trial is available at glo.com (click here). The app is available at Google Play (click here) and the Apple App Store (click here).
Most experts agree that performing Kegel exercises—or pelvic floor exercises—can ease the “push” stage of labor. Tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor also strengthens the essential muscles for continence and safe everyday movement during and after pregnancy.
This workout app offers easy-to-follow sessions for any level. Customize the app with cues that guide your exercises. Free for iPhones in the Apple App Store (click here) or for Androids at Google Play (click here).
This digital age offers pregnant women isolating at home ways to find expert guidance and stay informed. Telehealth calls offer convenient connections to health-care providers. Virtual visits can replace routine pregnancy check-ups.
The Bradley Method offers advice on exercise along with nutrition and relaxation info. Prices vary (click here).