Pregnancy and exercise

(14 Posts)
GGchan22 Sat 05-Oct-13 19:05:20

Hello Ladies,

I am currently a final year design student at Loughborough University, hoping to design an exercising kit for mummies during their pregnancy and shortly after, this kit will mostly base around a comfortable footwear ( replacing the lacing system, and stretchable fabric for swollen feet), other supports for the body and maybe even an app informing mums what kind of exercises will be good for the body, however this is yet to be finalize.

So I am hoping to get some opinions and answers on this subject, such as with swollen feet, what footwear do you all wear currently? how often do you exercise? will this kit be a great idea? what are the current issue with exercises so far? any ideas and issues will be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Note: Please note this thread may be use forward as research data.

K8eee Sat 05-Oct-13 19:11:35

Hi Gigi, I'm only 16 weeks (well I am tomorrow!) and my feet haven't as of yet swollen up. I am able to still wear my normal ballet pumps. I do think though if you are looking at some form of shoe for pregnant women to exercise in I think it needs to incorporate some form of ventilation in the shoe. Skechers have this mesh material which is really nice to wear when walking, and I think a lot of other trainer brands have cottoned onto using it. Also, something supportive enough as we end up being a bit more top heavy whilst pregnant. We need to be able to balance well and know we aren't going to twist and ankle or fall over too easily. Hope that's of some help smile

Julietee Sat 05-Oct-13 19:21:05


My main issues with exercise are the divergent opinions on what's safe. For instance, the advice to keep your heart rate below 140bpm is apparently 30 years old and out of date!

There's no source where you can find out which exercises are ok as a layperson (for instance, lunges, squats, other personal training type exercises).

Also what intensity of exercise to do and when. We're variously told that keeping up previous exercise routines in the first trimester is fine, and also that if we overheat/ break a sweat/ do too much that we risk miscarriage and fetal deformities. Which is it? I kept cycling at my previous level then spent weeks worrying I had done damage after reading conflicting advice.

Myths and misinformation abound. I went to a prenantal class the other day where the class leader,who previously told me she had a training-in-pregnancy qualification, told me to only do half sit ups as otherwise my placenta would split. Sorry, but wtf? That's not a thing! I spoke to a midwife about it and she laughed and told me to avoid her in future.

This is obviously too huge an area for you too take on comprehensively for a project, though - good luck smile

LittlePeaPod Sat 05-Oct-13 19:22:32

Hi Op I am 27 weeks and my feet haven't swollen and I am still able to wear normal trainers. I exercise about 4/5 times a weeks and the only issues I have found was finding appropriate gym gear (clothes etc.). I would probably not use an excersice pregancy app but that's because my gym (DW Sport) cater really well with supporting pregnant ladies with regards advice / equipment on all aspects of excersive throughout pregancy.

Best wishes with your designs.

Soupqueen Sat 05-Oct-13 19:43:59

At 38 weeks, my feet haven't swollen either but I'm practically living in my flip flops for 2 reasons;
1. Can't bend over bump to tie shoes
2. SPD means I can't twist my legs out to the side to tie shoes that way either.

Flip flops not the best for exercise, but maybe something slip on with a way of securing them?

SmallBee Sat 05-Oct-13 19:57:15

I agree with Soupqueen, I'm 39 weeks but it's been a while since I've been able to bend down for long enough to actual tie up shoe laces. So I would want something that was easy to get on.

emmac3616 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:00:39

That would be AMAZING! I was an avid exerciser before pregnancy and have been SOOOOO disappointed by the lack of provision of clothes and supports. I am now 30 weeks pregnant and am very sad to have just had to stop running outside (tendon pain at top of bump... no real supports around to help). I usually go to the gym on the days I don't run and use the cross trainer as well as lots of weights / core exercises so i am just doing that everyday instead BUT I am struggling to find clothes to wear. Normally I just wear my ASICs running lycra leggings and vest tops. Tops are just about OK as I have just bought some massive / size 16 ones (I am normally an 8/10) in the sale (they go over the bump but do gape at the top as my top half has only got marginally bigger!) BUT that really doesn't work for the bottoms - my legs are the same size, if not a little smaller from the reduced exercise and so if I go up a size they become too baggy. Initially I pulled my normal ones over the bump and they were fine until about 28/29 weeks and actually very supportive BUT now they are too tight to go round the middle of the bump and are hurting me. The very limited options in terms of pregnancy exercise kit seem to be for yoga and thus not very appropriate for higher impact training. I actually find it really depressing!!! I would love a strong support for the bump (might have allowed me to run a little longer) but there really isn't anything sufficient around and I would love some workout gear that is actually designed to fit me (as in me at the size I normally am + bump!). Shoewise my feet haven't swollen at all BUT I do find it a challenge to do up my laces sometimes - OK now but won't be in 4 weeks or so I think! I am hoping to exercise all the way through my pregnancy and my midwife, GP and obstetrician have all been hugely supportive of my programme (based on the fact I was very active before my pregnancy). All help very much appreciated!!!

emmac3616 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:07:25

Also, should add that I agree with Julietee re. the misinformation and conflicting advice that you get on exercise. As I say, my GP and Midwife have been very supportive and told me that nowadays you can basically do whatever you want as long as you listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain / distress and if you feel overly tired etc. My personal trainer at the gym has also given the same advice - adding only that I shouldn't lie on my back for extended periods in case I feel faint. BUT I get a lot of strange looks in the gym / out running as I think lots of people (and lots of my friends have been told) that you shouldn't raise your heart beat above a certain level or get too hot. Seems everyone gets told something different.

LittlePeaPod Sat 05-Oct-13 20:09:39

Emma I get those looks in the gym... hmm type look!

emmac3616 Sat 05-Oct-13 20:17:52

LittlePeaPod - thank goodness it's not just me!!! I do find it a little disturbing that people are being so judgmental... but I rationalise that I am listening to all of my healthcare professionals who probably know A LOT better than the people giving me the weird looks!

vj32 Sat 05-Oct-13 21:54:27

Yes - slip on shoes.

Maybe clothes with different bump sizes? (like Bravissimo do those clothes with different chest sizes) This may sound silly but its very hard to find trousers in pregnancy that aren't really really tight but that actually stay up. I couldn't exercise much in my first pregnancy, thinking of doing some antenatal yoga this time but have no idea what I will wear!

LittlePeaPod Sun 06-Oct-13 06:15:43

Emma I am with you on that. The medical team and the gym are happy with my programme then I am happy. I too, intend on carrying on till I deliver.

Emma & VJ32. Please see link attached below. I got some comfy high impact and yoga/pilates gym clothes from here.

Chocolateteabag Sun 06-Oct-13 07:26:03

Hi - I tried to exercise pretty much as normal during this pregnancy (my second) but found that the Squats in one of my classes either brought on or contributed to growing SPD/PGP pains and had to stop pretty much everything
So what would have been useful to me would have been:
Early advice on exercise, especially for second pregnancies where SPD/PGP is more common due to earlier release of relaxin hormone
Getting my hip support much earlier (I have a Serola support and it has been a god send - far better than the crappy NHS one I finally got after weeks of waiting)
I do get swollen feet & ankles - but flight socks get vv sweaty so maybe ankle warmer type supports would be better (in summer at least)

Bump and boob support in pregnancy also vv important

Also consider post Pregancy exercise? You are vv sore and advised to do nothing for 6 weeks post birth - but then would be useful to have some thing to ease you back.

Good luck - sounds like an interesting Project.

emmac3616 Sun 06-Oct-13 20:29:07

LittlePeaPod What a great website! Ordering some bottoms from now! THANK YOU! :-)

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