How to Look After Yourself During Pregnancy

Tamara Woods

Sydney, Australia

Physiotherapy, Women's Fitness


When you are used to training hard it's hard to change your ways when you are pregnant. And do you need to change? Yes, I believe so.


The simple fact is that you have a different body when you are pregnant, and that body needs to be trained differently. If you do not change your exercise habits along with your changing body, then it is likely to hinder your return to training after you have had your baby.



Do we want you to stop everything? Of course not! We are in the business of getting people to exercise, so here are some tips that will help you help your body throughout pregnancy.


Exercise During Pregnancy Guidelines

  1. Stop all abdominal work. That’s right—stop it. We do not need a strong abdominal wall in pregnancy. In fact, we need the opposite. We need it to give, to lengthen, to let go in order to accommodate the growing baby. If it does not, then you will likely increase your chances of getting an abdominal separation. So even when you are quietly standing, let your belly go. You are pregnant.
  2. Load your body symmetrically. Think squats instead of lunges, for example, or a split stance squat instead. This will significantly reduce your chances of getting pain in and around your pelvis (pelvic girdle pain). And don’t stop there, stand up from sitting with even weight, roll in bed with even weight. “Even weight” should become your new mantra.
  3. Do not overdo it with pelvic floor exercises. Yes, find your pelvic floor. Absolutely. Make sure it goes up but more importantly, down. Tight pelvic floors do not relax well. If you can’t find it, or it hardly moves, know that you are not alone, and go to a women’s health physiotherapist who can help you. In people who have done a lot of exercise, it is much more likely that your pelvic floor is on the tighter side. This is usually not too much of a problem for life but can become a problem when you are trying to get a baby down and out of there.
  4. Go for it with the glute exercises. This will help keep your pelvis stable, which is important as your pregnancy hormones create a degree of instability in preparation for birth.


How to Look After Yourself During Pregnancy - Fitness, exercise during pregnancy, childbirth, pelvic floor, postnatal, postpartum


Be Kind to Your Body

So, there you have it. Simple things, but important things. Things that can make a big difference to your pregnant body, potentially to your birth, most definitely to your postnatal body, and absolutely will influence just how quickly you can return to exercise.

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