Exercise is good for you, whether or not you are pregnant. It's an important part of a healthy pregnancy, too. Develop a good exercise program before getting pregnant to help you feel better, control weight and increase stamina. Exercise can also help make labor and delivery easier.
To find and maintain a good exercise program, choose exercise you enjoy and can do in any type of weather. A great deal of information on various types of exercise programs is available from your local hospital, your healthcare provider and health clubs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has tapes available on exercise during and after pregnancy. Ask your healthcare provider for ordering information.
If you love to exercise, that's great! But don't overdo it while you are pregnant. General guidelines for exercise before and during pregnancy include those listed below.
|Before starting a new program, consult your doctor about past medical problems and past pregnancy complications.
|Start exercising before you get pregnant.
|Exercise on a regular basis.
|Start gradually, and increase as you build strength.
|Wear comfortable clothing.
|Avoid contact sports or risky exercise, such as water-skiing or horseback riding.
|Allow plenty of time for warming up and cooling down.
|Check your pulse every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise.
|Don't let your pulse exceed 140 beats a minute.
|Once you're pregnant, be careful when changing positions.
|After the fourth month of pregnancy, don't lie flat on your back when exercising. This decreases blood flow to your baby.
|Stop exercising and consult your doctor if you have any bleeding, loss of fluid from the vagina, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal pain or other serious problems.