During Pregnancy your body goes through many physical and physiological changes to accommodate the growing foetus.
Some of these changes include:
- Increased heart rate and cardiac output
- Increased total body fluid (blood and water)
- Increased load on the respiratory system
- Hormonal changes resulting in increased body temperature and stretchier ligaments and connective tissue
- Changes to your gastro-intestinal system increasing your risk of indigestion and constipation
- Changes in your posture and Centre of Gravity
- Increased strain on your pelvic floor muscles
These changes can leave you feeling sore and uncomfortable but there are lots of things you can do to keep yourself in good shape while you await the arrival of your baby.
Exercise is medicine…
A specific exercise program can help you manage many of the changes which occur during pregnancy.
- Pelvic floor strengthening exercises to help you carry your unborn child and in preparation for labour
- Pelvic stabilising exercises to prevent Pelvic Girdle Dysfunction
- Gentle, low impact movement to avoid constipation
- Stretches and self-release techniques to relieve tight, sore muscles
- A combination of general aerobic and strengthening exercises to ensure you are fit to deliver
- Not to mention the release of endorphins (feel good hormones) to lift your spirits!
Preparing to be a parent, whether it’s for the first time or if you are adding to your tribe, can be a daunting time. Exercise will help you manage your body both physically and mentally so that you can enjoy your pregnancy and feel great at the same time.
Written by: Lisa Haddow (Exercise Physiologist)