Exercise and Lifting During Pregnany
For far too long, pregnant people have been treated differently. They’re met with numerous limitations and advice on the things that they “can’t” do. While some pregnancies do need these limitations, most healthy pregnant people only need to make specific modifications throughout pregnancy and can actually continue doing the things they like to do, especially lifting.
If you google “should I lift during pregnancy” you’ll be met with answers that tell you you should not lift over 12 Kg (26.5 lb). However, if you are already a parent, you know this guideline is completely unrealistic. Your child is likely over the 26 lb limit and you may have to pick them up. So, instead of limiting what we can do, why don’t we practice how to do it safely and effectively?
Some of my favorite exercises to show pregnant people are deadlifts, squats, and of course, core stability exercises. While some people are scared of these choices, I see fantastic movements that are incredibly functional and translate to real life movements. Deadlifts and squats teach us the skills we need to learn to safely pick things up from the floor. Core stability is vital in learning how to properly brace the core throughout its change in pregnancy.
Not only does exercise improve your comfort level through pregnancy and ability to manage aches and pains, it also leads to improved birthing outcomes for both you and baby:
Benefits of lifting/exercise for the pregnant person:
Lowers risk of gestational diabetes
Lowers risk of preeclampsia
Improves psychological well-being
Improves labor outcomes
Improves fetal development
Now before you set out on starting or continuing an exercise program, it is important to consult your birthing provider to determine any factors of your pregnancy that may limit how safe it is to exercise. Once you’ve determined your ability to partake in exercise, meeting with a pelvic floor PT/OT, women’s health PT/OT, and/or obstetric PT/OT can help determine how to improve safety during movement and identify modifications specific to your needs while addressing those common (but not normal) aches and pains. Throughout pregnancy it is also incredibly beneficial to work with a prenatal personal trainer as a valuable guide throughout your pregnancy fitness.
For more information on how exercise can benefit your pregnancy, reach out to email@example.com or call us at 513-208-2257!
Blog post written by Dr. Tyler Kornblum, PT, DPT, ATC