Whether a woman plans on seeing a family caregiver, midwife, nurse, obstetrician or other healthcare practitioner, there’s no doubt that she and her loved ones will be learning a lot of new information regarding pregnancy.
It is important to know that women are not alone in this learning process. A healthcare team is there to help achieve a healthy pregnancy Don’t be shy; having a healthy and informative weight management conversation with a healthcare team will help a woman be fully ready to manage a healthy pregnancy!
Is it safe for me to exercise during my pregnancy?
Although physical activity is recommended in pregnancy, there is a small number of women for whom it may not safe be safe. Some medical conditions may prevent a woman from exercising safely because of the possibility of harm to her or the baby. A woman can ask her doctor about the Physical Activity Readiness Medical Examination (PARmed-X for Pregnancy). This is a guideline that will help her healthcare provider decide whether physical activity is appropriate and safe. In addition to giving a woman the go-ahead to be physically active, it also provides excellent recommendations regarding the frequency, type and intensity of exercise that you are safe to do. These recommendations are catered to each woman at each stage of pregnancy.
What types of exercise should I engage in?
A woman’s body will go through many changes during pregnancy. A shift in the centre of gravity and a decrease in joint stability are just two examples. Different types of physical activity will even impact the baby in different ways. Her healthcare practitioner will be able to explain the changes that are going on within the body and discuss the best exercises for her pregnancy. There are evidence-based resources available through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
Discuss your current behaviours!
It is important for women and their healthcare provider to discuss and collaboratively reflect upon current activities, behaviours, and her social environment. Their healthcare practitioner or allied health professional can help decide if these behaviours are safe to continue doing throughout pregnancy. More importantly, they will be able to suggest adjustments to current behaviours and social environmental factors that can better the health of both her and her unborn baby.
What additional resources exist to help keep me on track?
The community is filled with many resources to help a woman have a healthy pregnancy! Nutritional guides, physical activity guides, pre-natal classes, counselling services, personal training services and social services are just the beginning. A healthcare practitioner can give suggestions for additional resources that will be helpful to pregnancy. Women experience pregnancy differently and there is no one size fits all. Each woman knows their body best and should work collaboratively with their healthcare practitioner to decide what she needs to have a healthy pregnancy.