Everything you want to know about exercise during pregnancy

Verified by

Sanna Kallur

Qualified trainer Maternity Health

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    Everything you want to know about exercise during pregnancy

    Verified by

    Sanna Kallur

    Qualified trainer Maternity Health

    It feels difficult to know what to do with your exercise when you're pregnant. Your body feels different, but at the same time you want to do the best for both yourself and your baby. Together with the Kallur sisters, who run the exercise service Vibes, we answer the most common questions about exercise, to give you inspiration to move and boost your well-being during pregnancy.

    vibes banner

    By now you probably know that exercise comes with benefits. But did you know that this also applies to pregnant women? It doesn't matter if you have a lot or a little experience, even if you're a beginner - it's a great time to start - but it all depends on how you feel.

    How does pregnancy affect the body?

    First of all: let's send gratitude to the female body for its magical ability to build a whole new life. However, pregnancy also puts a lot of strain on the body. In particular, the posture, abdomen and pelvic floor are especially affected due to the growing belly and breasts. When it comes to the pelvic floor, you may experience a feeling of heaviness or downward pressure. Some may have problems with leakage due to the weight and the muscles of the pelvic floor plate not being able to hold up.

    During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin also increases, with the aim of widening the pelvis for childbirth. But it also affects the stability of the ligaments and ligaments of the whole body. You may find that you become both more mobile and more wobbly. For some, this also leads to a diffuse pain around the pelvis and hips. You've probably heard of joint loosening? The new name is pelvic pain, which suggests that it is neither loosening nor dangerous.

    How can pregnant women do exercise to prepare their bodies for the stress they will go through?

    Basically, it's just about moving in the way you like because it has huge benefits for both physical and mental health. The most important exercise is the one that gets done, no matter what type of exercise it is or how long it is. Then it's a bit about your own level of ambition. But if we start from how the body changes and the extra load, the following points may be useful to consider:

    Strengthen your posture
    To maintain a good posture despite the weight forward, it is good to strengthen the muscles at the back of the body such as the back, buttocks and back of the thighs.

    Strengthen the pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles
    You can also train your stomach, as long as you feel that you have control in the deep abdominal muscles. If you don't, it usually shows when you do abdominal exercises in a lying position, when the stomach bulges out like a pyramid.

    Feel and adapt your training
    Pregnancy affects us all differently and in different ways, so it's important to find out for yourself what you can, want and need to do to feel good. If you experience pelvic pain, it is good to modify your training. If running feels too tough, you can switch to walking. If there are specific positions that feel weak or painful, such as lunges, you can do the exercise in a smaller version or switch to something else, such as squats or deadlifts. Due to the increase in the hormone relaxin, it is also wise not to stretch and strain too much in the outer positions. Moderate is best!

    On getvibes.se there are lots of pregnancy workouts, tailored for trimesters 1, 2 and 3!

    Can you prepare for childbirth with exercise?

    In general, any form of exercise that focuses on breathing is good for childbirth. For example, both yoga and breathing exercises are great, but so is exercise that gets your breathing up, as childbirth can be exhausting.

    There used to be a myth that strong abdominal muscles could make childbirth more difficult, but now many studies have been done in this area and experts agree that it is actually the opposite. They believe that a well-trained pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles can actually lead to a faster expulsion. So, it is well invested training minutes to activate both the pelvic floor and the abdomen!

    training pregnant

    Exercise tip: deep abdominal activation with breathing

    Sit down comfortably and breathe in deeply with the aim of filling your stomach all the way down to your pelvic floor. Relax completely. Then exhale and activate your pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles at the end of the exhalation. It should feel like you are squeezing out all the air using your muscles. You can visualize a small soft hug of the baby in your belly. Take five of these breaths every now and then, perhaps before your workout or as a nice break at work.

    Is there any exercise to avoid when pregnant?

    In general, exercise for pregnant women has only positive effects, but there are some things to avoid. These are sports where there are blows to the stomach or where there is a high risk of falling, high-altitude training (above 2500m above sea level) and diving because of the risk of the fetus receiving too little oxygen.

    In late pregnancy, you should avoid lying on your stomach, but also on your back for longer periods. This is due to the pressure exerted on the vena cava, a blood vessel that runs behind the baby towards the back and pumps blood from the lower body back to the heart.

    If you feel that your body is limiting you and you don't have the energy because of nausea, pelvic pain or something else - don't feel stressed. Rest is also needed! There will come a time when energy and desire are back.

    Exercise when pregnant: Can you exercise with contractions?

    The uterus is a muscle and when it exercises before giving birth you experience contractions. It is not dangerous and it is perfectly fine to exercise with contractions as long as they do not hurt. If your contractions feel uncomfortable - pause and rest until they pass.

    What are Vibes?

    If you want exercise to be accessible, fun, and undemanding, Vibes is the exercise service for you! As a member, you get access to a library of over 400 workouts and yoga classes that you can start whenever and wherever you want. You don't need to be fit, have any equipment, or have a lot of space or time - so Vibes is suitable for everyone.

    Vibes offers a lot of great workouts based on the three trimesters of pregnancy. Everything from soft, short workouts when you feel tired and unwilling to exercise, as well as sweaty, hearty workouts when you feel like it.

    Here you can become a member of Vibes. With the code BABYJOURNEY you get one month of free training on getvibes.se.

    Valid when you start a monthly subscription on getvibes.se (not valid in the app), and gives one month of free training in addition to the regular trial period of 14 days. After that you pay SEK 149/month. There is no commitment period and you can easily cancel the membership whenever you want.

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