Sport during pregnancy: benefits and precautions
The body's basic activity level increases by 10% at the beginning of pregnancy. This may be one of the reasons why you feel particularly tired. However, even if you were not previously active in sports, it is advisable to take part in sports.
If your health does not present any contraindications, you can do sport throughout your pregnancy. However, it is recommended that you do not compete.
If you take advantage of your pregnancy to start exercising, do so gradually. Take regular breaks to avoid being out of breath and pay attention to your balance. Your centre of gravity will change over the course of 9 months. If you need advice on choosing the ideal sport, don't hesitate to call on a coach for pregnant women.
Doing sport during pregnancy allows you to work on your breathing and your endurance, which will be invaluable during childbirth. Sporting activity improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Sport also maintains your muscles, especially those of the perineum and abdominal muscles. It also helps you control your weight and avoid gestational diabetes.
Finally, the endorphins released during physical activity reduce anxiety and promote sleep. This increases your well-being and that of your baby. The reduction in stress promotes a more peaceful birth. In addition, it seems that the baby blues are less severe in women who have remained active during their pregnancy.
What sports can you do when you are pregnant?
If you have hired a pregnancy coach, she will explain which sports are not recommended during pregnancy. The gentlest activities are to be preferred. It is best to avoid sports with impact or that present a risk of falls and blows, as well as exercises that put the perineum to work, such as running or athletics.
Swimming and water aerobics
Swimming is one of the sports where your tummy won't interfere. You can enjoy it until the end of your pregnancy. It relieves and strengthens your back, which is under great strain during pregnancy. If you are not used to swimming, you should prefer to swim on your side or back.
Prenatal aqua aerobics also allows you to work on your perineum, without joint constraints, as you are carried by the water. You can ask your pregnancy coach to help you choose a swimming costume adapted to your body shape, so that you feel as comfortable as possible.
Swimming also promotes relaxation. You can do 2 to 3 45-minute sessions per week.
Yoga strengthens physical and nervous balance. Stamina of body and mind is important throughout pregnancy and during childbirth.
Yoga also helps to develop pelvic mobility and to relieve the strain on your back, improving the flexibility of the deep muscles.
Walking is a sport that has only advantages during pregnancy and does not put your baby at risk. It stimulates blood circulation, especially in the legs, and helps the digestive system to function properly. You can walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week, ideally every day. Choose flat terrain so that you don't run out of breath too quickly.