Pregnancy is a time when the body is going through significant physical changes, often accompanied by a plethora of emotional and life role changes as well (Mother is a loaded title!).
General exercise guidelines still apply during pregnancy – moderate intensity cardio for lung and heart health 30 minutes, 5 times a week; whole body muscle strengthening 2 times a week; and stretching daily and relaxation. In rare circumstances there may be reasons to more drastically modify standard exercise recommendations or avoid exercise all together. If there is an underlying condition involving the uterus, placenta or your overall state of health, your primary care provider will typically indicate when this is the case. Please use this form to determine physical readiness.
Throughout pregnancy, finding a balance between exercise, stress management, nutritional support, sleep and daily duties (ie work) can be challenging! Having a supportive team to help guide you through these changes can be really helpful – Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is an integral part of that team!
For example, Samantha came to see Jenny in her second trimester. She was starting to feel more energy after being pretty tired and a little nauseous in the first trimester and was wondering what exercises were good to do in pregnancy. She was doing bootcamp and some jogging before pregnancy. She heard kegels were good to do but didn’t know if she was doing them right, and was wondering about abdominal separation that she had heard about on social media.
Jenny reviewed Sam’s medical history to ensure there were no reasons for her not to exercise, and then put together a plan for Sam based on what activities she enjoyed, what felt good to her body, and exercise recommendations from the WHO in pregnancy. Jenny did some myth-busting around kegels and core exercises in pregnancy, and integrated some exercises for Sam based on her pelvic floor assessment.
Sam came back 2 months later because she was having some back and pelvic pain with turning over in bed or after sitting for a while. She also wanted to ensure the exercises she was doing were still beneficial for her as she had to change from a barbell to dumbbells as her belly got in the way for cleans and snatches.
Jenny re-assessed how Sam was moving and using her body through her exercises and those painful movements, and offered some movement alternatives that helped to decrease her pain. Jenny also reviewed some modifications for Sam that she could use if she needed to decrease the intensity of her exercises as she moved into the third trimester of pregnancy.
Sam’s last visit during pregnancy was about a month before her due date to chat about fears about tearing during vaginal birth and if there was anything that she could do to make birth easier. Jenny reviewed options for breathing and positions for birth, went over perineal massage, and talked more about Sam’s concerns about tearing. Sam went home feeling prepared and also had ideas for her recovery after birth. She plans on checking in with Jenny after her birth to see how she is healing and get back into her exercises when she’s ready.
Not sure where to start?
- We are able to help individuals of all ages and at all activity levels (recreational to competitive).
- We offer direct billing to most major insurance companies for the convenience of our clients.