An Overview of Pregnancy and Exercise

Prenatal exercise is a common question the Plano obstetricians receive at Women’s Specialists of Plano. In the majority of patients, pregnancy and exercise are a great combination. Pregnancy is the time to begin moving, or to continue with normal physical activity, in order to boost the mood, promote muscle tone and reduce overall discomfort. What should women in the Dallas, Plano and Frisco, Texas area know about prenatal exercise? Women’s Specialists of Plano is here to share some of the most beneficial information to expectant mothers.

Is Prenatal Exercise Safe?

The answer to that question in many cases is, yes! The Plano obstetricians at Women’s Specialists of Plano even recommend it to most women. Prenatal exercise is quite important during all stages of pregnancy, as long as it is comfortable and there are no health conditions that present a risk to the mother or baby.

Pregnancy and exercise go hand-in-hand, but it is not the time to exercise for weight loss. Weight gain during pregnancy is to be expected. A physician will address any weight issues with a patient on an individual basis.

Pregnancy and Exercise Benefits

Proper prenatal exercise provides numerous health benefits if performed in a safe and controlled manner. During pregnancy, women who exercise on a regular basis stay in shape, prevent excess weight gain and are better prepared for labor and delivery. Exercise also provides:

  • A boost in energy levels
  • A boost in mood
  • Better sleep quality
  • Increased endurance and strength
  • Relief from bloating, swelling, constipation, backaches and overall discomfort

Prenatal exercise does not have to take hours each day to gain health benefits. Exercising for only 30 minutes on most, if not all, days is enough for many women.

Prenatal Exercise Guidelines from Plano Obstetricians

Before a pregnant woman engages in any exercise program, it is important she discusses it with a Plano obstetrician. Expectant mothers who do not currently exercise on a regular basis are often encouraged to begin with walking, swimming, cycling on a stationary bike or performing low-impact aerobics. Strength training with the body or weights is typically safe if low resistance is used.

If a woman engaged in physical activity before pregnancy, it is usually safe for her to continue exercising at the same level during pregnancy. If any discomfort occurs or if the patient feels the exercise program is too strenuous, it is best to speak to a physician.

Plano obstetricians often recommend avoiding these prenatal exercises:

  • Activities that force the woman to lie flat on her back after the first trimester
  • Any contact sports that place the abdomen at risk of direct impact
  • Activities with an increased risk of falling
  • Hot Pilates or hot yoga

If you are an expectant mother living in the Dallas, Plano and Frisco, Texas communities and would like detailed information on pregnancy and exercise guidelines, or how to begin prenatal exercise, please contact the Plano obstetricians at Women’s Specialists of Plano.