It's amazing how we underestimate our prowess. One look at these women and you will be nodding away in agreement too. As soon as people around me realised I was pregnant, workout during pregnancy was a strict no-no for me. I was inundated with advice on how I must give a break to my yoga routine; walk slower, completely avoid a jog and lifting weight was just blasphemous. While there might be some truth to it, when I saw the following pictures, I was amazed.
This is acroyoga instructor Lizzy Tomber's Instagram picture clicked when she was 37-week-pregnant.
If that has't stunned you enough, watch this oh-so-pregnant hip-hop dancer, Christina Litle dance away to glory.
While these ladies went that extra mile despite their pregnancy, is it really advisable to be this active? Dr Swapna Misra, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, India says, "Workout and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. Pregnancy is not a disease and it’s a natural process. Thus, to say that pregnant women can’t exercise is a myth."
She feels the healthier the woman is during pregnancy, the greater the chances of her having a smooth and normal delivery, and the baby being healthy. So workout during pregnancy should not be completely ignored. "Precautions need to be taken against running, jogging or jumping during the first four months. One must also avoid long-distance travel with jerky movements during this period. But post the four-months and with a clearance from your doctor, ensure to get back to a robust workout regime," Dr Misra adds.
Continue reading for more on workout during pregnancy.
Sally Jones, COO & Head Coach of MultiFit, a calisthenics-based functional fitness gym, feels that, as is logical, one rule doesn't apply to all pregnant women. She also stresses on the importance of consulting a doctor before indulging in any form of exercise, "A careful screening should be carried out and if necessary referred to a GP for their opinion, to ensure they do not face any issues."
The extent of which a pregnant woman can workout during pregnancy largely depends on her fitness level, which trimester she is in, and her medical history. “Whether she takes a pregnancy yoga class, works out in the cardio room, goes for a walk or a swim, the idea is to remain active and fit, while paying attention to how she feels during exercise, limiting her intensity and staying within the normal range of motion. Just make sure the instructor knows about her pregnancy and is knowledgeable about the modifications you can make,” explains Dr Chandrakanta Rani, Women’s health Physiotherapist, Mamma Mia, Fortis La Femme, Delhi.
According to her, in the case of women who are unsure whether to workout during pregnancy, there is a perfect prescription in the form of prenatal yoga and walking, as the benefits of exercising are many. To state a few:
- Consistent exercise during pregnancy can minimise aches
- Relieve constipation
- Help sleep better
- Lower the risk of gestational diabetes
- Beat depression
Also, as Dr Misra suggests, if the father-to-be becomes a fitness partner during pregnancy, it really makes a big difference. It will not only strengthen the bond between the couple, but will also ensure that the woman is always accompanied by somebody during her workout. What's more, developing good workout habits during pregnancy will help you get your body back faster after delivery.
Expect your routines to change as your body does. Explains Dr Nidhi Jain, Gynaecologist, Artemis Hospitals, "You'll need to modify your pregnancy workouts as your sense of balance shifts, and you'll probably also have to slow down to avoid taking a spill (especially once you can no longer see your feet)."