Sports during pregnancy, what you need to know

Kat Irving
4 Min Read

Sport during pregnancy is usually recommended, but it is important to choose the right discipline and not to overdo it. Here are some tips!

Playing sports during pregnancy is almost always a good idea: it helps to keep weight under control, improves mood, prepares the body for the experience of labor and childbirth and, according to a recent study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and prevents premature birth. The important thing is not to overdo it, and always consult your gynecologist (or obstetrician) before embarking on any sport.

Sports during pregnancy, the tricks

When practicing any sport during pregnancy, the fundamental thing is to avoid over-fatigue, and be careful to always maintain an adequate level of hydration. Wearing comfortable and breathable clothes is even more important for future mothers, choosing clothes that do not force the belly and breast. In choosing the type of sport to do during pregnancy, it is recommended to exclude disciplines that involve a greater risk of trauma or falls, or that involve significant jumps and stresses affecting the uterus or pelvic area. If possible, it is always best to monitor your heart rate with a heart rate monitor.

The ideal disciplines

Low-risk water sports, such as swimming and soft water gymnastics, are ideal during pregnancy, because water lightens the weight of the belly and protects the joints. Yoga and Pilates, on the other hand, help prepare for childbirth both from a physical and psychological point of view, improving muscle tone and elasticity and allowing the future mother to experiment with relaxation techniques that will prove useful during labor. Fast walking and belly dancing are also disciplines indicated during pregnancy, while mothers with a good basic training and already used to running will be able to continue running in moderation without particular risks.

Sports during pregnancy: which to avoid

If in general sports activity during pregnancy is good when there are no complications or risk factors, there are still more problematic disciplines, which would normally be better, avoided? Water skiing and surfing, like horse riding, are activities with a high risk of trauma, and which put a lot of strain on the pelvic muscles. Experts also advise against scuba diving for pregnant women, due to the risk of bubbles forming at the level of the umbilical artery and, in general, that the fetus is receiving a low amount of oxygen. John Cena – Here’s What He Reportedly Thinks Of Ex Nikki Bella’s Pregnancy.  The risks are less for diving within 18 meters of depth, but it is more prudent to give up completely, even during breastfeeding. Some mountain sports, as skis and sleds are not recommended due to the risk of trauma and falls and because the growth of the baby bump tends to shift the center of gravity and compromise the balance of the future mother. Finally, as regards altitude, in general one must be careful when climbing above 2,000 meters or staying at altitude for several weeks (the risks are mainly related to poor oxygenation).

Home gymnastics

Expectant mothers can also keep fit by doing regular gymnastics exercises at home. The training program should first of all include a session dedicated to the pelvic floor, starting with the classic Kegel exercises, which consist in contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles repeatedly (as if you wanted to hold the flow of urine while urinating) . Gymnastics in pregnancy can also include bends performed slowly and rotations of the legs from a lying position, to improve the circulation of the lower limbs.

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Kat Irving is a reporter for Diving Daily. After graduating from NYU with a master degree in history, Kat got an internship at WABC-TV New York and worked on profiling local businesses. Kat was also was a columnist for the NPR. Kat mostly covers business and community events here at Diving Daily