Can prenatal exercise ever be bad for you?

Mother MotivationPhysiotherapyWomen’s HealthWorkout Tips

happy pregnant women exercising on fitball in gym

Stay safe and fit with these easy modifications for pregnancy

You’ve heard us shout it from the digital rooftops again and again: Exercise during pregnancy is almost always a good idea! It makes you happier, keeps you and bub healthier, and is all around an awesome way to get some time to yourself before the baby makes her grand entrance.

But today, we’re gonna need to unpack that sneaky little word: “almost”.

Because, lovely, even though you should make a plan to get in your 30 minutes of moderate movement each day, there are definitely some unwise ways to go about it.

And here at BBB, we’re all about helping you gain that motherly halo of wisdom.

So let’s get to it!

First, there are some health conditions that absolutely mean you’ve gotta follow your OB’s advice:

  • Heart and lung disease
  • Cerclage–a fancy term when the OB puts a stitch in your cervix to keep it intact during pregnancy
  • Being pregnant with multiples
  • Placenta previa–when the placenta covers the opening of the uterus (usually your OB will catch this in an ultrasound)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Anemia–the severe kind that requires medication and regular checkups
  • Ruptured membranes

If you’ve got any of the above going on, your main job is to follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to exercise. And don’t worry, beautiful, we’ll still support you during and after you’ve delivered that little miracle safely.

As long as you’ve got a typical pregnancy – you know, your garden variety uncomfortable sort –exercise is a fantastic plan!

That said, there are some types of exercises and conditions you want to steer clear of during pregnancy.

Please don’t overheat

Maybe you loved dripping your stress onto the mat during hot Pilates or hot yoga–sweaty, cleansing classes in studios heated to over 40 degrees with 40% humidity–but pregnancy is not the time to indulge in this popular hobby.

When you’re pregnant, you’ve got nearly double the blood volume as before. This increases your heart rate and blood pressure. And that makes it extremely easy for your heart rate to skyrocket if you exert yourself in a hot, humid environment.

And remember, if your heart rate is up, your baby’s is even higher.

There’s no need to give up yoga or Pilates – in fact, they’re great exercises for pregnant women! Just don’t turn them into sweat-fests for another few months.

Don’t bump the bump

This is a no-brainer: avoid sudden impacts to your abdomen during pregnancy.

We know; we should be charging for this earth-shattering advice!

While every mama knows not to do a belly flop off of the diving board or roll down a hill like Frosty the Snowman, it can come as a surprise that certain exercises are off-limits during pregnancy.

For example, you want to avoid anything that increases your risk of falling: horseback riding, water sports, trail running, jumping on trampolines, downhill snow sports, ice sports, and gymnastics.

And there’s more! Take a break from sports that increase the risk of others falling into you: basketball, soccer, football, rugby, and boxing (on that note, avoid bar fights, too).

Lay off the laying down

For the time being, modify exercises that require you to lay on your back.

There are two reasons for this, beautiful. First, when you’re on your back, your increasingly massive uterus puts pressure on a really important blood vessel that runs behind it. Baby–and your lighted-headed brain–really does not like a drop in blood flow.

Second, exercising from flat on your back tends to engage the front of your abs, and this is a major risk factor for diastasis recti–when your abs tear apart down the middle. *Yikes*.

Highs and lows

Unless you already live in an alpine forest, don’t exert yourself at altitudes above 6000 feet.

And that includes sky-diving, so you might wanna nix your plans for that epic parachute gender reveal.

And don’t go too low, either. Unborn babies aren’t equipped to handle the pressure changes involved with scuba diving, so the reef exploring will have to wait until bubba can stay topside.

The good news for you, mama? There are *tons* of ways to safely modify your favourite exercises, and plenty more that require no changes at all, like swimming, running, walking, and stationary cycling.

And we’ve got a fun and safe exercise program just for you!

It will get you sweaty, keep you healthy, and give you an outlet for any stress you’ve got from sky-diving withdrawals. We’ve got the details for ya right here.