Unanderra Physiotherapy and Pilates
29A Central Rd
Unanderra NSW 2526
Tel: (02) 4271 5648
Regular exercise is as important to a woman's overall health during pregnancy as it is after pregnancy. A woman who was active before pregnancy can continue to be active during pregnancy, barring certain risks. Women who were previously inactive should speak to their doctor before embarking on any exercise program during pregnancy. A physiotherapist can be invaluable to the general health of an expecting mother and her baby.
During pregnancy, added weight gain puts excess stress on the feet and lower back. The center of gravity shifts forward due to the growing fetus and breasts and the base of support increases. This gives rise to increased lumbar lordosis (curvature of the so often seen in pregnant women. The lengthened abdominal muscles cause the calf muscles to work overtime in order to maintain balance while fighting the ever-changing center of gravity. Exercising during pregnancy can help the woman improve her posture and balance.
Some benefits of exercise during pregnancy are:
Fitness programs should focus on safety and avoiding falls. Some women experience shortness of breath with minimal exertion due to cardiovascular changes that take place during pregnancy. Women should exercise within their comfort zone and should stop at any sign of pain, dizziness, excessive fatigue, vaginal bleeding or unusual symptoms. Pregnancy is not the time to try to pump up your fitness level. High impact activities such as jumping and contact sports should be avoided. Wearing a brace during exercise provides some support. Swimming, walking, yoga and pilates are all highly recommended, however consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.
Low-impact aerobics with gradual warm-up and cool down stretches can help to increase a woman's endurance and maintain cardiovascular health. Using free weights and thera-band are also beneficial. In some aerobics classes Kegel exercises are performed to tighten the pelvic floor. In addition, expectant mothers perform various movements in a standing position, using thera-band attached to exercise balls. These movements engage the pelvic floor, while tightening the abdominals. Education in body mechanics and postural changes also form a part of these classes.
Pregnancy ought to be an exciting for a woman. Benefits gained from participating in physiotherapy can enhance her experience and prepare her for a life of continued fitness.
Printed from http://unanderraphysio.com.au/phy/why-people-see-us/pregnancy