By Healthweb | March 28, 2023
Why exercise while pregnant?
During pregnancy, your body is undergoing many changes from both a physical and psychological point of view. Pregnancy hormones flow through your entire body as both your baby and uterus grow. Your tummy grows larger and your tummy muscles stretch. There will be body weight shifts in the pelvis and low back as the abdomen becomes rounder. Later in the pregnancy your breasts enlarge, creating a further change in weight distribution around the neck, shoulders, shoulder blades and mid back. These pregnancy hormones serve a prime role in gently softening tissues, enabling your body to adapt to the pregnancy. They also prepare your body for labour. What occurs is a general weakening of muscle systems (in the pelvic floor, abdomen, core, gluteal, spinal, leg areas) as the hormones do what they are meant to do. These hormones can also result in mood changes, difficulty sleeping, or being easily reduced to tears.
As this is an important and changing time in a woman’s life, there are a number of benefits to exercising correctly and safely during your pregnancy. These include:
- Helping with fatigue and energy levels
- Strengthening pelvic floor and core abdominal muscles with a sense of awareness
- Strengthening and stretching low back, mid back, trunk, shoulder, leg and arm muscle systems to better support you and help you move through your pregnancy
- Relieve and prevent back and pelvic joint pain
- Reducing the side effects of pregnancy such as insomnia, gestational diabetes, anxiety, heartburn, carpal tunnel, leg cramps and body aches and stiffness
- Encouraging appropriate pregnancy weight gain
- Preparing you physically and mentally for baby’s birth
- Promoting muscle strength and awareness in key parts of your body, in readiness for the postnatal period.
Why choose Physiotherapy for Women?
Physiotherapy for Women is proud to be offering pregnant women over 20 years of experience providing highly skilled physiotherapy in both a clinical and exercise class setting. This experience and our commitment to continuing further education for our therapists, provides the clinic with the quality skills to assist you in improving or maintaining your physical health during your pregnancy.
In the friendly relaxed exercise class setting, pregnant women have the opportunity to take time out for themselves, have a laugh, share thoughts and experiences with each other. You will also be in the rewarding position of receiving professional guidance from skilled physiotherapists, who are passionate about this vital time in a woman’s life.
The pregnancy exercise class is a mat work class led by the physiotherapist in a small group setting. The Swiss Ball and appropriate weights are used in a variety of positions and movements. Pelvic floor muscle strengthening and deep abdominal core activation are included in many of the body movements. Should a particular position or movement not feel right for any pregnant woman, the physiotherapist understands how to change the exercise to meet her needs. In summary, the pregnancy exercise classes have been designed to maximize the benefits outlined previously.
Is it safe to exercise when pregnant?
In a low-risk pregnancy, exercise is encouraged for the benefit of mother and baby. At Physiotherapy for Women, you will be asked to obtain written consent from your obstetrician, doctor or midwife, before attending a class. This request means communication lines are open between your pregnancy health specialist and your physiotherapist.
Bookings for the pregnancy classes are essential, so please phone to book a place and receive current information regarding the classes and what you wear.
A physiotherapy consultation may be required before commencing the class, when there is a situation of significant pain or tightness being experienced by the pregnant woman.
Do I have to be very fit to attend?
No, the pregnancy exercise class is taken at your own pace and progressions on each exercise can be made as you feel stronger. It is recommended that if you have any significant pain or tightness in any body area, you first attend an assessment and treatment consultation with one of our physios. Their skills will determine when you are ready to start a class.
Are there exercise classes for after I have the baby?
Yes, we have years of clinical experience working with new mums, treating the physical conditions that are common during this period of time. As a consequence, Physiotherapy for Women has developed a progressive postnatal rehabilitation exercise program that caters for each woman’s needs. We can therefore offer you consistency of care from pregnancy into the postnatal life stage.
Pregnancy Exercise Class Details:
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and a pair of grip sole socks, which can be purchased at the clinic. The class is 45 minutes in length. Class numbers are controlled and bookings are essential. Pregnancy exercise class times are: