Staying healthy during your pregnancy is vital for you and your baby. Here’s a few tips that should help you have a healthier pregnancy:
1. Dehydration: your blood volume increases; fluid is needed for the amniotic fluid that surrounds the foetus; you lose more fluids if/when you experience morning sickness through vomiting (hyperemisis gravidarium in extreme cases – the NHS information on this condition is worth reading) and you need to supply your growing baby with good nourishment. Reduced fluid intake will affect all of these areas.
2. Overheating: there is the potential to affect the development of your baby if your core temperature is elevated above normal. During pregnancy your blood flow is increased and metabolic rate is higher – both mean you will tend to feel warmer anyway, add in exercise and that will increase.
3. Avoid laying flat on your back: especially for prolonged periods and particularly after the first trimester. The weight of the foetus may press on the vena cava (major blood vessel returning blood to the heart), making you feel faint, and reducing oxygen levels to the foetus.
4. Activities to avoid: contact sports, activities where there’s a risk of falling (eg horse riding) and any activity involving high impact (eg. running if you’re not used to it). All of these can put you and the foetus at risk of harm, but if you are accustomed to doing the activity then it could be perfectly fine to continue, perhaps with some moderation. The best advise is to speak to your GP, midwife or healthcare professional to ask their opinion.
Stop exercising if you experience any of the following (taken from the RCOG leaflet on Recreational Exercise and Pregnancy):
● dizziness or feeling faint
● shortness of breath before exertion
● difficulty getting your breath whilst exercising
● pain or palpitations in your chest
● pain in your abdomen, back or pubic area
● pain in your pelvic girdle
● weakness in your muscles
● pain or swelling in your leg/legs
● painful uterine contractions or preterm labour
● fewer movements from baby
● leakage of your ‘waters’ (amniotic fluid)
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Reference: RCOG leaflet: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/recreational-exercise-and-pregnancy.pdf
Read this article too….5 Tips for a Healthier Pregnancy