Exercise is an important aspect of staying fit and healthy both physically and mentally, and while a lot of women participate in fitness classes and work out on their own on a regular basis, there seems to be a sense of nervousness that pregnant women hold inside, keeping them from exercising for fear of hurting their baby. But guess what, ladies? This is an old wives tale, a myth…fake news. Working out during pregnancy is actually healthy for both you and your baby, as long as you are following your health care provider’s orders and paying close attention to what kinds of exercising you are performing, and how you feel while performing them.
Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, gives the go-ahead to her patients who want to continue exercising during their pregnancy. Exercise is not only for your own health, but also for the baby’s health and your own peace of mind.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology offers its best women’s health tips on exercising during pregnancy. First and foremost, if you are worried about exercising causing any harm to you or your baby, you can rest easy. Physical activity does not increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or even early delivery. You just may have to adjust your routine to make sure it includes pregnancy-friendly exercises. For example, types of exercise to avoid include hot yoga or pilates, which could cause you to become overheated, any type of contact sport where there is a chance of being hit in the abdomen, and activities such as skiing, surfing, gymnastics, horseback riding and off-road cycling that could result in a bad fall. However, it’s perfectly fine to engage in brisk walking, swimming and water aerobics, stationary bicycling, and modified yoga and pilates. If you are an experienced runner, talk to your healthcare provider about how to safely continue throughout your pregnancy.
As with anyone, pregnant or not, participating in physical fitness, there are always precautions to take. It is especially important as a pregnant woman, however, to drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Having the right support is also crucial — and we don’t mean from your friends and family, we mean from your sports bra. You can even wear a belly support belt to reduce discomfort while walking and running. Avoid exercises that put you on your back or involve standing motionless as much as you can, as both of these positions can decrease the amount of blood flow to your heart, resulting in decreased blood pressure for a short time.
Women who continue to exercise regularly during their term can experience a multitude of benefits, including reduced back pain, decreased constipation, decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and c-section delivery, improved overall general fitness, and strengthening of the heart and blood vessels. It also promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy, and is a big aid in weight loss after you’ve given birth.
As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea advises to pay close attention to your body and how you are feeling while exercising. If you start to feel dizzy or faint, show signs of shortness of breath before even starting exercise, or experience chest pain, headaches, muscle weakness, and calf pain or swelling, it’s time to take a break. More severe signs include bleeding or leaking fluid from the vagina or having regular and painful contractions of the uterus.
Let Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea, take the fear out of exercising during pregnancy. She is available to answer your questions and provide details and directions for a safe work out regimen. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn, please call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, or simply request online.