For centuries, women who are pregnant have been deemed to be in a “delicate condition.” While there are some pregnancies where the mother must take extra special precautions, many times that is not the case.
Pregnancy is not as fragile a "condition" as we have been led to believe. As long as you are healthy and don't have any risk factors, you really can't be too active during your pregnancy. Yes, you should be careful, but in many cases maintaining normal activity with permission of your doctor is not only allowed, it’s advised.
How do I know what I can do during my pregnancy?
I tell my pregnant patients that the best rule of thumb is to continue doing the activities you did before you got pregnant. If you are an avid runner, continue to do so. If CrossFit is your thing, go for it! My advice would be to discuss your pregnancy with your coach or trainer to ensure all of the activities you are doing are safe. In CrossFit specifically, as your belly grows, many of the barbell movements will need to be modified, and certainly no burpees or activities that involve you laying on your stomach.
If you were fairly sedentary before you became pregnant, this is a great time to slowly add in some low-impact activities. Walking is your best friend! Try walking around your neighborhood a few times per week to start. Some light yoga is a great and healthy idea, too. Look for prenatal yoga specifically to ensure all of the movements are pregnancy-friendly. Appropriate exercise during your pregnancy can help keep you and the baby healthy, reduce stress, and can often help prevent common pregnancy concerns.
Preparing for birth
The main thing to avoid is inactivity. Yes, that's right! Stay active! Think about labor and delivery as a marathon. If you signed up for a marathon nine months from today would you start training for it or would you decrease your activity levels? Of course you would train! So, train for your birth. Whatever activity you are the most comfortable with and makes you feel the best stick with that one!
Also, check into local birthing classes. A lot of the positions used for birth are very active and they should be practiced to ensure that you have the stamina stay in those positions while you labor.
Another part of staying active and having an easier pregnancy and birth is getting regular chiropractic adjustments, which I discussed in this recent blog. I do in-office or at-home adjustments for my pregnant and post-natal patients. This will help prepare your pelvis and spine for a healthy delivery.
What other questions do you have about chiropractic care and delivery? It is never too late to start taking better care of yourself and your baby!