It’s SO important to exercise during pregnancy, as long as you are medically able. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep yourself and your baby safe. Here are the top pregnancy fitness mistakes to avoid–
1) Not Doing Pelvic Floor Exercises
Your pelvic floor is a layer of muscle that supports the uterus and helps you maintain bowel and bladder control. It’s under a lot of pressure during pregnancy.
If you do pelvic floor exercises every day, you’ll help keep your back strong, help with flattening your tummy post birth, and alleviate the problems with bladder and bowel control that are common after childbirth.
Clench your muscles as if you are trying to prevent a bowel movement; at the same time, draw in your vagina as if to stop the flow of urine. Hold this movement for as long as you can, then relax.
Repeat throughout the day, and it’s very important to make sure you carry on this exercise after the birth.
2) Any Exercises Lying on Your Back
During pregnancy, you must avoid any exercises or movements that require you lay on your back, this includes any exercises you see with the word supine attached. During your second and third trimester, lying on your back for long periods can put pressure on the vena cava vein that flows blood from your lower body to your heart. This can make you feel dizzy, breathless and nauseated.
If you still want to continue an exercise in which you need to lie on your back, put a pillow beneath your right hip or bum, as you would do in a prenatal yoga class. Doing this will prevent you from putting pressure on the vena cava vein.
3) Not Drinking Enough Water
Drinking plenty of water is key to preventing dehydration while exercising during pregnancy. In addition, there are other steps you can take to make sure you and your baby are well-hydrated. Avoiding products that contain caffeine if you know you’ll be exercising, especially in the heat, is a good idea. Caffeine can increase your urine output, leading to dehydration.
Having adequate water in your system will help you regulate your body heat, but if you aren’t drinking enough water during pregnancy, you can be prone to overheating. A sign of being properly hydrated is having a clear urine color, as opposed to dark yellow.
If your urine is dark yellow, that’s a sign you need to increase your water and fluid intake.
4) Excessive Stretching
Relaxin is a pregnancy hormone that affects ligaments throughout your whole body– It allows for your ligaments to loosen, specifically for your pelvis, to open up so your baby can birth out of your birth canal. However, it doesn’t only affect ligaments around your pelvis and hips. This is why you need to be cautious when it comes to stretching while you’re pregnant. You don’t ever want to force a stretch either, pregnant or not. Keep in mind this hormone can stay in your body up to ten weeks post-delivery!
5) Exercise in Excessive Heat
It’s dangerous for you and your baby if your body temperature raises too high, or too quickly. Your core body temperature actually rises while exercising in extreme heat. This is also the reason that saunas, hot baths, and Jacuzzi’s are not allowed during pregnancy.