Maybe you know that doing a workout during pregnancy is recommended by many experts. It improves the well-being of women, makes you feel good and even reduces the symptoms of toxicosis. However, the load and nature of the exercises throughout pregnancy have certain characteristics.
Pregnancy is a very individual process. Perhaps you are one of those who have never visited the gym but heard that during pregnancy it can be useful. Or you actively visited the gym but heard that physical activity can harm the health of the baby, so you stopped training from the first weeks of pregnancy.
Both options are wrong, although the second is not so dangerous. You need to start training at least six months before pregnancy to prepare the body (the main goal of training is to train the muscles of the legs and back, since the center of gravity will change as the baby grows, and a well-developed abs is needed during childbirth).
What about statistics?
Statistics show that in this case there are fewer threats of abortion in the initial stages and changes in the body are more easily tolerated – in particular, it is an endocrine profile.
Of course, there are cases when it is strictly forbidden to train. This applies to the critical periods of pregnancy – in each trimester they are different. At this time, changes in the body of the embryo and mother are very intense. At the same time, the sensitivity of both – mother and baby – increases, while at the same time, adaptive capabilities decrease.
In general, pregnancy performs the function of ‘doping’ for the woman’s body – the placenta provides the synthesis of new hormones, so the mother has much more energy than before the pregnancy. Experience has it that, there have been cases when professional athletes demonstrated the highest capabilities during pregnancy.
Have you ever heard that the more you eat, the healthier your baby will be? Therefore, most women begin to eat whatever they want. Often women prefer sweets. This is a common mistake.
The embryo does not need carbohydrates – proteins and fats are more important for it. Protein influence the formation of the skeleton and functional systems, fats provide the synthesis of hormones, the formation of cell membranes, the transmission of nerve impulses (in this case, the number of functions of proteins and fats is much wider).
In addition to proteins and fats, the mother’s body needs oxygen to ensure the supply of nutrients and accelerate the elimination of toxins and end products of metabolism.
As for toxicosis, most often it is characteristic in case of impaired activity of the kidneys and liver – organs that ensure the excretion of final metabolic products.
By the way, specific taste preferences during pregnancy are most often caused by impaired activity of the kidneys and liver. If there is no obvious toxicosis, as a rule, the body asks for something specific (for example, you want to chalk, if there is not enough calcium).
Training and nutrition during the first trimester (1 – 12 weeks)
During this period, the woman’s body takes place in an active hormonal restructuring. First of all, it appears a new hormone – chorionic gonadotropin. At the same time, the level of progesterone rises (it ensures the fixation of the embryo in the uterus) and hormone growth.
At the end of the first trimester, the volume of circulating blood increases by 40-50%. Bodyweight increases due to fluid retention, which is triggered by hormonal changes. Normal is increasing of a woman’s body weight up to 200-300 grams in a week.
What goals should be set before scheduling nutrition:
– Elimination of toxins. You need to drink a lot of water (at least 1.5 liters of water per day);
– Ensuring the receipt of high-quality protein: caviar, meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese;
– Ensuring the receipt of high-quality fats: sour cream, butter, oily fish, nuts.
If a woman has not visited the gym at all before, she should walk as much as possible outside to ensure normal blood circulation and reduce the number of edema.
Light gymnastics with or without some weight will also be effective. Ideally, training should take place in the fresh air and provide a good mood. If medical support (progesterone preparations) is used, physical activity should be minimal. But this should be determined by a specialist.
For those who previously worked out in the gym it can be left the same exercises, but with less weight. It is necessary to focus on well-being.
From the first trimester, great attention should be paid to strengthening the muscles of the legs and back, since they will have the greatest load on them at the end of pregnancy. It is necessary to strengthen the abs muscles because the course of labor depends on their tone.
We do not recommend exercises in which you need to strain the abs, as they increase pressure in the abdominal cavity. Control it carefully during 1-3 weeks of pregnancy (this is the first critical period).
Training and nutrition during the second trimester (12 – 24 weeks)
By this time, the threat of abortion is reduced, since the placenta is already formed. It serves as a protective barrier and filter. Active formation of all systems and organs of the child continues.
The volume of circulating blood increases to 50%. Due to the increase in fetal body weight, worsens the outflow of blood from the lower extremities. It is necessary to ensure the physical activity of blood through the vessels to avoid swelling and varicose veins in the future.
The critical period is limited to 18–22 weeks. At this time, the growth rate of the child exceeds the growth rate of the uterus. Nutrition requirements are the same as in the previous trimester.
Your tasks for this period:
– Maintaining muscle tone of the abdominals, legs, and back;
– Normalization of blood circulation in the lower extremities (exercises are used while sitting and lying down).
As physical activity, you can choose a pool (water improves blood circulation and lymph flow). Perform exercises in a standing position for no longer than 5-7 minutes. It is better to replace them with exercises in a sitting position, for example, on a fitball (stability ball).
Training and nutrition during the third trimester (28 – 40 weeks)
During this period, the child continues to grow actively and puts pressure on the internal organs of the mother. Because of this, women feel a lack of oxygen. The hormone relaxin is added to an unstable level of hormones, which increases the elasticity of connective tissue.
Because of this, women often want to stretch well. But if you perform stretching exercises, do it very carefully and with a small amplitude. Nutrition requirements are the same as in the previous trimester.
A normal increase is 20-24 pounds. If you have gained more pounds, you should limit the number of fast carbohydrates. It helps not only to correct the shape but also for future health.
With an excessive increase in body weight, changes adrenal gland activity (during this period all types of metabolic processes suffer). Because of this, getting back you’re your ideal shape and losing weight after giving birth is very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible.
The training tasks are similar, but preparation for childbirth (for example, Kegel Exercises) is also added to them. Standing exercises should be abandoned. The range of motion during all exercises should be reduced.
To eliminate spasms in the lumbar area, you can use special applicators (lie on them at least 3-5 minutes a day).
2-3 weeks before giving birth, you should refuse to perform any physical exercises. It is possible to return to physical activity after childbirth not earlier than in 2-3 months (in case of cesarean section – not earlier than six months after childbirth).
We hope that this article will be useful to you in the future. These general rules allow you to understand what is the best way to listen to your body, to choose food and how to train.