For some women, the thought of exercise during pregnancy is as appealing as a root canal without novocaine. In their minds, they have a nine-month pass to keeping up with their gym routine. In the first three months, they are battling morning sickness and exhaustion. The next three months they are beginning to show.
The last three months are so uncomfortable that walking ten feet to the bathroom is pure torture, so there is no way they will be able to walk on a treadmill for ten minutes.
On the other side of the coin
There are some women who do not let something as little as creating a life stand in their way of exercise. These are the women we might see actually teaching a class at the gym, or speed walking throughout our neighborhood with their protruding bellies.
THERE ARE SOME WOMEN WHO DO NOT LET SOMETHING AS LITTLE AS CREATING A LIFE STAND IN THEIR WAY OF EXERCISE
Most of us, however, fall somewhere in the middle and that is just how their doctors like it. Exercise comes highly recommended when pregnant. Not only does it help control weight gain, but some women swear it helps with delivery also. There are some things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your growing little one.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE HEART
For starters, you need to keep an eye on your heart rate as you are working out. Letting your heart rate rise to high could be dangerous to your little one especially in your first trimester. You want to maintain a steady heart rate and should do the talk test throughout your workout to make sure you are at a safe level. The talk test is when you talk during your workout. If you are having a hard time talking and wind up huffy and puffing more than getting out actual words, then you are working too hard and need to take it down. Most doctors recommend that you work at a pace where talking is challenging but still doable.
Pregnancy is not the time to try out new exercise routines.
- This means that you should not try the new spinning class that your gym offers.
- Stick with the routine you have already been doing and that your body is used to.
- You may find that you have to make some modifications to some of your exercises as your pregnancy progresses.
If you are a runner, a modified low impact jog throughout your first trimester is fine but once you enter your second trimester and begin to show, your jog has to be brought down to a walk. For those of you who love sit-ups, crunches and floor pushups, you can continue to do these up until you hit about 14 weeks or so. After that time period, no floor exercises are recommending.
YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN A STEADY HEART RATE AND SHOULD DO THE TALK TEST THROUGHOUT YOUR WORKOUT TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE AT A SAFE LEVEL
If you do not have any sort of exercise routine in place before you get pregnant, this still does not give you a free pass. Almost every doctor will tell you that walking is a great exercise for any pregnant women who are not high risk. Walking at least thirty minutes, three times a week is a safe way for a pregnant woman to stay active.
Walking is something you can do through out all three trimesters though you might find yourself moving at a slower pace by your third trimester. Another great plus to walking, especially as you approach your due date, is that walking can actually bring on labor.
Many doctors will advise their patients to walk, walk and walk some more in the weeks leading up to their due dates to get things rolling. Some women who have walked throughout their entire pregnancy have an easier delivery and recovery period.
The days of pregnant women kicking their feet up and not moving from the couch for nine months are days of the past. While strenuous exercise is a no no pregnancy is no longer a good excuse to stop moving.
Foods to Avoid While Pregnant
Almost every woman knows the basics of what they should and should not do during pregnancy. They know that caffeine should be cut back; they should not smoke, drink alcohol or spend time in any hot tubs. However, more and more studies are being done to see if pregnant women should avoid certain foods for the duration of their pregnancy.
Listeria can cross the placenta and can cause an infection or blood poisoning to the baby
It is essential that pregnant women eat a well-balanced meal at all times to provide their growing baby with the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that the baby needs to grow. There are some foods though that need to be avoided due to the risk they pose to not just to the mother, but also to the growing baby.
WHAT TO AVOID
For starters, raw meat needs to be avoided due to the risk of toxoplasmosis and salmonella. This means no more rare steaks or rare burgers. Pregnant women should take caution and make sure that all of the meat they eat is cooked well done. Cold deli meat should also be avoided because of the risk of listeria. Listeria can cross the placenta and can cause an infection or blood poisoning to the baby. Keep in mind though that deli meat can be reheated until it is steaming and this will help reduce the risk.
Fish has always been a subject of debate for pregnant women. While some forms of fish contain essential nutrients that are needed by the baby, others contain a high level of mercury. Any fish with a high level of mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and fish used in sushi should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Studies have linked mercury to developmental delays and in some cases brain damage. Tuna also contains a lot of mercury but canned, chunk light tuna has a lower amount of mercury and can be eaten in moderation. Raw shellfish also should be avoided throughout pregnancy.
SAY NO TO RAW EGGS
Raw eggs or anything containing raw eggs is a no-no during pregnancy. There is potential exposure to salmonella. This means no raw cookie dough, no brownie mix, and some homemade sauces. When dining in a restaurant, it would be wise to ask any sauces or dressings contain any raw eggs. Most restaurants should be using pasteurized eggs in any raw egg recipe but one should still double-check.