Active Pregnancy Guide – 1st trimester

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Whilst there is a lot of talk about postnatal exercise, there seems to be a lack of guidance during pregnancy. My Active Pregnancy Guide will give you the low down as simply as possible and hopefully you will grab some tips and be motivated to keep active!

Regular exercise and eating a balanced healthy diet will help the development of the baby AND equip the mother’s body to do it’s job as best it can.

 

Research has also suggested that the benefits of exercising whilst pregnant can be reaped by the mother 10, even 20 years later!

Each pregnancy is different so you need to listen to your body and follow its lead. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. This is happening to you and it is your unique journey. At this time in your life, many people will be telling you what is happening to your body and what you should or should not be doing. Whilst it in general is well meant, it can be extremely overwhelming. Providing you are listening to your body, be confident that YOU know best and follow your natural gut instinct.

 

1st Trimester Context:

During the first trimester ( 0 – 13 weeks) your body goes through rapid changes! This is likely to be the trimester where on the outside it looks like nothing much is happening, but on the inside your body is being transformed! Your body is working in absolute overdrive to develop the fertilised egg, which has successfully attached to the womb lining into a teeny tiny person! The amount of energy this requires is inconceivable. Not only does the embryo grow in size, but it is developing primitive organs, facial features, fingers, toes, and the spine and brain are even visible at this point  – amazing.

This video from the Baby Center shows you the development through the 1st trimester.

 

Symtoms:

It is very common for women in the 1st trimester to suffer from sickness, nausea, sore breasts, breathlessness and extreme tiredness which can effect your ability and desire to exercise! Yes, in many ways it feels like the worst trimester and personally it hit me like a tonne of bricks!

 

Exercise facts:

From a physiological perspective, providing you are having a ‘normal’ pregnancy, you are actually able to carry on with your existing exercise schedule. One thing from the start, avoid fast rotating (twisting) from the waist as this can damage the connection from the baby to the womb.

Despite the embryo/foetus being at the most vulnerable stage, it is highly unlikely for you to cause damage from exercising. In fact, physical activity has been found to help to elevate nausea and tiredness!

With this said, common sense prevails. You should bear in mind the physical environment in which you are exercising in. For example, if you are a cyclist, boxer or runner, there are external factors which need to be taken into account from a safety point of view. It does not mean to say you have to stop yet, however you may want to take extra precautions.

 

Tips and advice:

My personal advice is to exercise when you feel good; sleep when your body feels tired (I know this is not always possible); eat when you feel hungry!

For me, I felt pretty rubbish for the first 13 weeks so I did loads of walking every day (I had to because of my job) and when I was not feeling too nauseas I carried on with Pilates reformer and Yoga classes adapting where necessary. I exercised in the gym with weights and cycled on the bike. Let me be specific though, I went many weeks without doing ANY exercise other than walking.

In addition, ensure you have a well fitting sports bra as ligament damage in the breasts can be painful – it is a serious matter!

Now go, get out there and exercise! Feel confident that you are doing something good for you and the growing human inside!

 

PLEASE NOTE YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY CHANGES TO YOUR EXERCISE REGIME.
IF YOU FEEL DIZZY, UNWELL, BREATHLESS OR PAIN IN ANY WAY YOU SHOULD STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND IF THE SYMPTOMS PROCEED SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.



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© Copyright Rebecca Dalby 2015