If someone told you that you should consider lifting weights while you were pregnant, you’d probably think, or indeed believe, that this someone has lost her mind. But if you listen to the experts, you’ll learn that exercising and lifting pint-sized weights could have benefits for you.
Mayo Clinic maintains that the uniqueness of every pregnancy ensures that what may suit you, may not be suitable for Mrs. Banerjee. Most doctors maintain that low-impact and light exercises during pregnancy can not only prevent back pain, edema, excess weight gain, etc., but also boost sleep, enhance energy levels, and improve stamina. Exercise helps reduce the risk of other pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and hypertension, and overcome postpartum depression.
If you hit the gym quite regularly until you learned of your pregnancy, there is no reason to hold back and let your routine go. You can still lift free weights; just ensure you consult your OB/GYN for the right weight and not end up straining your body or harming the fetus.
Childbirth certainly isn’t child’s play. It is a laborious task, one that can sap you of your energy levels. You need to ensure that you’re in top shape before you give birth to your baby. And, lifting weights can help you attain just that. Studies conclude that fit women not only have an easy time getting back to their pre-pregnancy weight after childbirth, but also have an easier labor, a quicker recovery, and give birth to healthier babies than women who are unfit.
Moreover, a large-scale study concluded that women who are physically fit during pregnancy have a lower chance of preterm delivery than their unfit counterparts.
Pregnancy changes a woman’s body. The hormone relaxin makes tendons and ligaments flexible to prepare the body for the impending labor. A bit of weight training can help cure aches, encourage better posture, and improve pelvic flexibility, which will be crucial when you give birth.
Doing abdominal exercises during pregnancy seem counterproductive. But in reality, they are not. In fact, they help during childbirth, and can make you recover quicker than usual after delivery. Remember to abstain from exercises like crunches, and others where you must bend forwards. Focus on squats, lunges, and hip thrusts. Avoid any routine where you must press up against your belly.
Remember, every pregnancy is unique. So, consult your doctor for your individual exercise plan. Consult a qualified personal trainer to help you with your exercise regimen.