Lately, we’ve been discussing self-care, nutrition and exercising. This week, we’re continuing that discussion. Exercising during your unplanned pregnancy will be the third and final part of our series. Be sure to check out our previous blog posts if you’ve missed the last few!
Here at Adoption Choices of Colorado, we strive to not only provide helpful information and different forms of support, but also offer tidbits of information and tips that you may be unaware of. Ultimately, we hope to positively impact your pregnancy experience. We’re also here to give you reminders about safety when it comes to exercising.
Trimesters and Exercise
We’ve discussed in our previous blog about what types of exercises you can do and which ones you should be avoiding. But here is a more detailed breakdown of what you can be doing within each trimester. Exercising is a positive activity to upkeep or do within reason; however, you should always consult your doctor for the best answers and guidelines regarding exercising during your unplanned pregnancy.
- First Trimester (weeks 1 to 13) – You should be able to continue the same exercise routine that you had before you became pregnant. That is, unless there’s a safety risk.
- Second Trimester weeks 14 to 27) – Your body will be growing, so it would be a good idea to swap out high-impact exercises, like running and jumping, for more low-impact activities, such as walking or swimming. Do not do exercises where you lie flat on your back after 16 weeks.
- Third Trimester (weeks 28 to 40) – You should be able to carry on exercising as long as you feel well and comfortable. If you feel okay, you can likely stay active right up to the birth of your baby.
Also, be sure that you’re properly prepared to exercise. This includes clothing choices and prior nourishment. Make sure you are wearing the proper attire – a supportive bra, flexible clothing and well-fitting shoes that are suitable for the exercises you will be doing. Loose and comfortable clothing is key. Remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising. Be sure you are properly hydrated and nourished, as you’ll need to stop eating one hour before exercising. When you exercise throughout your pregnancy, ensure that you’re doing so on a flat, even surface and that you get up slowly to prevent dizziness.
4 Facts and Tips You Didn’t Know
- When you exercise, your blood flow shifts away from your internal organs (including your uterus) to give your muscles, lungs and heart more oxygen. If you exercise too strenuously, you can restrict oxygen to your uterus. Make sure to stick within the recommended heart rate level to ensure that your baby is getting the oxygen he or she needs.
- Your pelvic floor muscles are weakened during both pregnancy and birth (vaginal delivery), so it is extremely important to begin conditioning the pelvic floor muscles from the start of your pregnancy.
- Your joints are more flexible from the hormones which cause certain muscles to relax during pregnancy. Your center of gravity or equilibrium is shifted from the extra weight in the front, as well as, your shifting hips.
- You know you’re at a good exercise intensity when you can talk normally (without taking breaths in between), and do not become exhausted too quickly.
Listen to The Signs, Listen to Your Body
There are a multitude of warning signs when exercising during pregnancy. Always listen to your body and stay alert for signs of discomfort.
If you experience any of the following during or after physical activity, stop exercising immediately and see your doctor:
- dizziness or feeling faint
- heart palpitations
- chest pain
- swelling of the face, hands or feet
- calf pain or swelling
- vaginal bleeding
- deep back, pubic or pelvic pain
- cramping in the lower abdomen
- walking difficulties
- an unusual change in your baby’s movements
- amniotic fluid leakage
- unusual shortness of breath
- excessive fatigue
- muscle weakness
Remember these indicators aren’t always a sign that something is drastically wrong, but that you are overdoing it and need to slow down. Slow and steady wins the race, after all. However, in the case that something is wrong, reevaluate what your routines are and what you can and cannot do. There is no right or wrong amount of exercise during your pregnancy, but everyone reacts differently as each pregnancy journey is unique.
Exercising during Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Just like nutrition and self-care, exercise is a great addition to your repertoire for a healthy pregnancy, even if it is unplanned. We have discussed the benefits of exercising during your unplanned pregnancy, the do’s and don’ts of exercising while pregnant, and safety tips for the weird nuances that come with pregnancy. Now, it’s time for you to decide if incorporating a healthy balance of self-care, exercise and nutrition is the right thing for you.
As always, Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to help provide you with important and relatable information and any and all support you may need to have a positive and healthy pregnancy.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
Adoption Choices, Inc. is a private, non-profit adoption agency licensed by the state and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive parents in Colorado since 2002. Our staff has a genuine commitment to providing an empathetic, empowering, and progressive experience to all involved in the adoption process. For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
About the Author
Taylor Tsakopulos, the bestselling student. She has interned locally in Denver and internationally in Dublin, Ireland, taken classes/workshops and worked odd jobs and yet always comes back to being a student and the desire to learn or create.
She is a jack of all trades (i.e. a Gemini). She is a Denver-based writer, creator, artist and student. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU).
When she isn’t creating content she’s off dancing and hiking. Always chasing after new things and experiences. After living and working in Europe, she is hungry for more.