Exercise in Pregnancy - An Osteopaths Recommendations
Posted: Aug 27, 2019
When patients who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or in the post natal stage they often come to see their Osteopath for back pain, headaches, pelvic pain or to help with their posture. We, Melbourne Osteopaths not only treat with "hands on" Osteopathic techniques, but we also advise on appropriate exercises for their health.
Exercise during and after pregnancy has many benefits that include:
- Overall better health
- Weight control
- Improved mood, and decrease risk and symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Stress relief
- Improved fitness
- Better cardiovascular and respiratory health
- Reduce back pain
- Reduce pelvic pain
- Decrease the risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy related hypertension
- Prevention and management of urinary incontinence due to pregnancy
- Improve posture
- Preparations for labour, delivery and recovery from birth
While pregnant, your body undergoes huge physical changes to accommodate the growing size of the baby. Your exercise needs to be modified to ensure safe and healthy practice is undertaken.
Your Osteopath will help you understand, consider and be aware of these changes and prescribing appropriate exercises for you will include ensuring your understand the following:
- Firstly, make sure it is safe to exercise if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you experience any unusual symptoms or pain while exercising.
- 30 minutes of exercise a day should be performed
- Your heart rate increases in pregnancy so it is really important that you don’t over exert or over heat. You should be able to talk comfortably and not feel out of breath during exercise while pregnant. ie ensure you don’t overexert, don’t overheat and can maintain a "talk and walk" intensity. If you become breathless, light headed or dizzy, you must stop
- Release of the hormone Relaxin
- Relaxin will loosen the ligaments in your body and can increase likelihood of pelvic girdle pain, pelvic instability, ankle sprains, and back pain. Ensuring your exercises are tailored to you and your body and ability to exercise is so important –
- The increase in weight and changes in body shape affect your balance and centre of gravity.
- Ensuring exercises for core strength, back strength and balance is really important
Exercises and Activities during pregnancy that are recommended include:
- Stationary bike riding,
- Water aerobics
- Pilates and Yoga for pregnancy
Pelvic Floor exercises are really important to help strengthen and support the pelvis for pregnancy, birth and post birth and to help prevent vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence. Your Osteopath will take you through how to perform these exercises properly, how often to do them and when. It is extremely important! We will also give you tools on how to stretch appropriately and effectively, as well as best positions to perform the exercises in.
Due to the changes in shape and relaxin, as well as significant stressors on your muscles and joints you may require some sports tape, or bracing to help support your pelvis, shoulders, feet, wrists or back. We will also advise on use of heat and ice packs as well as appropriate use pain relief when pregnant.
Get in touch with an osteopath near you to have a program deigned for you and your pregnancy or post natal stage – we are here to help!
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