Exercise and Pregnancy

HellO everyone! My name is Ellen and I am one of O-health’s Physiotherapists.
I like to work with all walks of life, but have a particular interest in helping women through all life stages such as those teenage years, pregnancy, motherhood, and menopause.

A pregnancy can be one of the most transformative times in a woman’s life.
Here at O-health, we’ve got your back (literally)!

I’m here to chat with you about what I recommend to my preggo ladies to keep them physically fit in preparation for childbirth (hint – exercise)! Plus I’ll let you know what other services are available at O-health for our women.

During pregnancy, significant changes occur to the amazing human body. A change in hormones, posture, weight and balance can all unfortunately contribute to some aches and pains. Our practitioners here can give you a helping hand if these do arise. But there are several proactive strategies that you can do to prevent and/or reduce the pain in the first place – the biggest one being EXERCISE (plus safe manual handling, supportive clothing, and so on).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states women during pregnancy should aim to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise over a week. Now this is not to be done in 1 day. A 30 minute session 5 days per week should do the trick, and then you can have 2 rest days (yay).
If you are unsure if you are completing ‘moderate intensity’ exercise I like to refer to the ‘talk test’. If you are unable to maintain a conversation whilst you’re exercising, you need to dial it down a notch.

FUN FACT: To meet the increasing demands for blood supply to your growing baby, your heart enlarges and also pumps faster. This means you are already doing an aerobic workout just by being pregnant!

Top Tips:
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise
  • Wear lightweight clothing and supportive shoes
  • Exercise in a cool, ventilated area
  • If you are new to exercise, start slowly and progress at your own pace, and at an intensity that makes you feel good
Things to AVOID:
  • Exercise flat on your back – to avoid the weight of your bub resting on your major blood vessels
  • High impact sports such as netball – pregnancy hormones such as relaxin can make your ligaments softer increasing your risk of joint injuries
  • Abdominal exercises such as sit ups and curl ups

Now, if you do unfortunately develop an injury or have an ache or pain, I recommend you come in and see one of our incredible practitioners. There are several injuries that pregnant women are more susceptible to such as back pain, hip and groin pain and carpal tunnel. All our practitioners are highly trained to assist you with whatever it is through a modality of treatments – hands-on techniques, supportive braces/devices, stretches and exercises.
Please note, if we do find it is out of our scope of practice and requires a GP or Pelvic Health Physiotherapist review, we know just the health professionals to refer to.

This is also the perfect time to mention that we have started our first ever group Mums n’ Bubs pilates class. This class takes place in our studiO every Friday at 10:30am by the lovely Ellie.
If you or someone you know is pregnant (or just had their baby) and is keen to stay active, let us know!

Hopefully we will see you ladies at O-health soon!

*Please note, this blog consists of general guidelines. If you are interested in getting an individualised assessment and management/exercise plan, get in touch with us on 6021 2777.