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Yoga & Exercise Advice

What are the Benefits of Exercise during Pregnancy?

Childbirth is among the most physically stressful challenges a woman ever faces. Regular exercise during pregnancy:

  • Strengthens muscles needed for labor and delivery
  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • Improves posture
  • Gives energy and improves mood
  • Lessens some of the discomforts of pregnancy
  • Helps one feel less tired and sleep better; strength and stamina are increased.

Benefits to the Infants

  • Infants have less body fat at birth
  • Infants are less cranky, have a reduction in the incidence of infant colic
  • Greater neurodevelopmental scores in oral language and motor areas (tested at age 5).
When and How to Start an Exercise Program?

The best time to initiate an exercise program is in the second trimester, when the nausea, vomiting, and profound fatigue of the first trimester have passed and before the physical limitations of the third trimester begin.
Concerns about the teratogenic effect of high core body temperatures in the early first trimester have not been demonstrated in studies of exercising women.
•    Women who have been exercising prior to pregnancy may continue their exercise regimens throughout pregnancy using the guidelines outlined below (II-L 2B).

Conditions Requiring Medical Supervision while Undertaking Exercise in Pregnancy
  • Cardiac disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Persistent bleeding in the second and third trimesters
  • Pre-eclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Preterm labor (previous/present)
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Cervical weakness/cerclage
  • Placenta praevia after 26 weeks
  • Preterm prelabor rupture of membranes
  • Heavy smoker (more than 20 cigarettes a day)
  • Orthopedic limitations
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Extremely sedentary lifestyle
  • Unevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia
  • Chronic bronchitis
Warning Signs to Terminate Exercise

If any of the following symptoms appear during exercise then patient should immediately stop exercise and seek medical attention:

  • Excessive shortness of breath Chest pain or palpitations Presyncope or dizziness Painful uterine contractions or preterm labor Leakage of amniotic fluid Vaginal bleeding Excessive fatigue
  • Abdominal pain, particularly in back or pubic area Pelvic girdle pain Reduced fetal movement Dyspnea before exertion Headache Muscle weakness Calf pain or swelling.
Duration of Exercise

When prescribing exercise duration it is important to also consider the environment during exercise. It is important to not exercise in excess of 45 minutes in an environment which does not provide proper ventilation or air conditioning, dangers of thermoregulation can occur (Artal et al. 2003). Proper hydration throughout exercise is important remember. Thirst is not a sign of rehydration, it is a sign you are already dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, as well as during exercise sessions are must


Butterfly stretch

Triceps Stretch
Feet Together

 Ball squat

Leg extension
Side raise

Dumbbell row

Seated Shoulder Stretch

Modified Hurdler


In most cases, exercise is safe for both mother and fetus during pregnancy and women should therefore be encouraged to initiate or continue exercise to derive the health benefits associated with such activities.

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