Over 80% of women during pregnancy will experience pelvic girdle and or lower back pain. Given the right exercises, we can help reduce this number and make pregnancy a more comfortable experience for our new mums.  

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy: 

  • Helping to control gestational weight gain 
  • Reduced risk of preeclampsia/gestational hypertension 
  • Reduced risk of gestational diabetes 
  • Reduced symptoms of depression 
  • Reduced pain and disability in patients with pelvic girdle pain 
  • Prevention of lower back pain 
  • Improved sleep 
  • Can lead to changes in lifestyle with long term benefits 

 Current recommendations for exercise during pregnancy suggest at least 150 mins of moderate intensity activity every week. To ensure you are working at a moderate intensity, you can use the “talk test” – this helps to make sure you are working sufficiently but still able to hold a conversation. It is recommended that 2 sessions of muscle strengthening or loading exercises are included in your 150 minutes. 

Type of exercise: 

  • Pelvic floor exercises are very important during pregnancy. This is due to increase load (weight of the baby) on the pelvic floor in combination with ligament laxity from the hormonal changes during pregnancy means that are susceptible to pelvic floor weakness. Strengthening these muscles throughout pregnancy and post pregnancy can help to maintain the integrity of these muscles and avoid heaviness or bearing down feeling in your pelvis and incontinence.  
  • Deep core strengthening is also important to consider this can help avoid lower back and pelvic girdle pain as it acts as an internal support.  
  • Strength training for upper and lower body is recommended to be completed at least twice per week. This will help to avoid upper back and lower back and hip/pelvic pains during pregnancy. 
  • Cardiovascular training should be completed at a moderate intensity – again using the talk test to ensure you are working hard enough but still able to hold a conservation. 
  • Gentle stretches are also recommended  

All of these types of exercises can be guided by your physiotherapist.  

Warning signs: 

  • If you experience chest pain, unexplained shortness of breath, dizziness, muscle weakness, calf pain, sudden swelling of the ankles hands or face, vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement, uterine contractions or pain in the lower back or abdomen please seek medical advice. 

A physiotherapist can help to guide you with what types of activity to be doing at particular stages of your pregnancy and also during the post-natal period. Exercise recommendations vary between people due to differences in fitness levels, body composition, pain levels, motivation and time. Individualised exercise is therefore best to ensure that your needs are being met while meeting the recommended guidelines. As stated in the guidelines, whether you were exercising regularly prior to pregnancy or not, you should be active throughout your pregnancy.  

This means that if you are not already active, start gradually. If you are already active – just keep going!  

If you would like more advice with exercising during pregnancy contact us on 9481 2348 to book  or  Book online