Your Pregnancy & Exercise Q&A
How soon can I exercise after my baby is born?
You can start as soon as you’ve been cleared by your doctor to slowly get back into an exercise regime. The general guidelines for a normal pregnancy and an uneventful delivery is approximately four weeks and for a c-section is six weeks (because of the scarring). Remember that when you start your exercise regime, take it slow. In addition, a balanced diet is key to make sure that you supply your body with enough fuel to take care of your baby and yourself.
Can I workout on my back during my pregnancy?
That’s a tricky question! The rule of thumb is that during your second and third trimester the size of the baby becomes an issue as lying on your back will impede blood flow to the baby by putting pressure on the inferior vena cava. Not good! However, I have had many clients that have done crunches on their back well into their third trimester but when they start to feel “not great” they stop. I would assume that the question has to do with attempting crunches on your back: why not use a theraball instead to get a maximum amount of workout but no stress on your baby or your inferior vena cava! Every morning I feel a real tightness in my hips and pubic area. Can you recommend stretches or exercises for me? As you progress in your pregnancy, your pubic symphysis (the bone that makes up the front of your hip area) expands to prepare for the delivery. The muscles around the pubic area become tight as they are trying to keep the area from subluxing, so the tightness is not a bad thing in general. One exercise that you can perform, after getting the okay from your doctor:
1. Lay on your side with a pillow between your knees.
2. Squeeze the pillow with your inner thighs. Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.
3. Only squeeze about 50 per cent of what you perceive your maximum to be. This will engage the adductor muscles (inner thigh muscles) to work harder to hold the pubic bone in place. Another exercise you can do is a hip flexor stretch,which is like a lunge stretch. Place a pillow on the floor and lunge over the pillow with one knee on the pillow. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat it 2 or 3 times. If you have an increased amount of pain stop the exercise and talk to your doctor.
Claire Moscone-Biafore has her Honours BSC in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, is a Certified Athletic Therapist, an Osteopath in Present Study (Thesis Candidate), and a Fourth Degree Black Belt Instructor. She also works at Women’s College Hospital, Pivot Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics and in her own practice.