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Exercise and pregnancy

(34 Posts)
ChickenMe Sun 02-Nov-14 16:48:10

Hi everyone

For the main part I've been trying to keep active during my pregnancy (18w). I'm curious to see how others are getting on with this?

For instance, if you've had a previous pregnancy, how did exercise help? Easier labour? Did it help with weight gain?

I go to the gym and I also try to go on walks. I had to stop the gym for a while as I had a heavy bleed. But I missed being active so much, I started to feel depressed! So I'm back on it (but just taking it easy).

What exercise do you like doing in pregnancy? Are there any you had to stop doing?

I think there are defo psychological benefits if nothing else.

Would like to hear all about other ladies' experiences grin

enqueue Sun 02-Nov-14 17:00:23

I have run every day since the start of 2011 and have no intention of stopping until I feel I need to. I am currently 27+1. I am running slower now, generally around 30 mins duration, and for enjoyment and fresh air. I am also swimming fairly seriously by most people's standards about 3x per week.
The main concession I have made is that I moved house around the time I conceived and had a break from gym etc because of that, and I had intended to get back into weights, classes, spinning, etc; and I haven't. I didn't feel it was right for me having had time off to re-start that in early-mid pregnancy.
Everyone I have asked has more or less said 1) how much you do massively depends on what your body is used to pre-pregnancy, ie. your general level of fitness and 2) listen to your body and do whatever you feel comfortable with.
I suspect there will be some people who think my running is mad and excessive but it works for me. If I feel the need to walk for a bit down a hill for example I do so. And whilst I won't stop running unless I have to, equally I don't have plans to push on to a certain date, for example. I am of the opinion that most people in developed countries are far too sedentary and soft (when not pregnant) ; )

peppapigonaloop Sun 02-Nov-14 17:05:39

I still run, do bootcamps, body attack, spin-everything really! I'm quite anaemic so have found running a little challenging as quite short or breath but have just slowed down a bit.
I was at my fittest pre having my 2nd and I def think it helped with easier labour and recovery afterwards-I was up and about straight away.

This pregnancy has been a carb fest so far as was v nauseous and v tired so my weight gain hasn't been great (ie too high) but the exercise is helping a little with that!
I'm of a mind that pregnancy really neednt slow you down that much however I will caveat that by sayingn I am lucky to have good pregnancies with no hip/back problems so that makes being active easier..

Psmith83 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:12:21

I've started walking to work- one hour each way. I'm currently 15+4 and have been walking since I got knocked off my cycle at 8weeks. I feel great, have lost weight and feel relaxed and happy. I plan to continue for as Long as I can! grin

Psmith83 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:12:36

I've started walking to work- one hour each way. I'm currently 15+4 and have been walking since I got knocked off my cycle at 8weeks. I feel great, have lost weight and feel relaxed and happy. I plan to continue for as Long as I can! grin

Burmama Sun 02-Nov-14 17:15:10

I alternate swimming and yoga days - 27 weeks now. Really recommend both, especially maternity yoga is very good for back/pelvic pain and flexibility

Psmith83 Sun 02-Nov-14 17:17:59

I've started walking to work- one hour each way. I'm currently 15+4 and have been walking since I got knocked off my cycle at 8weeks. I feel great, have lost weight and feel relaxed and happy. I plan to continue for as Long as I can! grin

ChickenMe Sun 02-Nov-14 17:19:50

It inspires me to keep going with the exercise hearing your stories and I might even jog!! (I do x trainer/bike and weights/body weight stuff).
My Mum and Mil seem to think it's dangerous. I think even my OH is a little bit cautious but I echo enqueue in feeling that being sedentary is more dangerous (not to mention depressing!!)

enqueue Sun 02-Nov-14 17:53:07

I'm glad you haven't all replied saying I am mad, ha ha! I know this is easy for me to say at the moment, but... Someone I worked with could barely walk up a flight of stairs at about 5-6 months pregnant, she would be puffing and leaning on something at the top, is it any surprise she found labour long and tiring? I'm not saying that labour isn't going to be long and hard for everyone to a degree but surely the more physically fit you are the better chance you give yourself of coping with whatever is thrown at you?

ChickenMe Sun 02-Nov-14 18:07:48

Yes that is what I'm hoping enqueue, at least if you're used to pushing yourself a bit physically then it can only help surely?

I think it's great that you're still running. It's so easy to be inactive these days. Most people I know drive the shortest distances (eg 750m away and they drive). Go back say 25 years and people didn't necessarily make a point of exercising - it just happened. That's prob why my Mum thinks it's a bit dangerous to workout-she's nearly 70 so in her day they just moved more!

LIG1979 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:16:54

I exercised throughout my last pregnancy and was on great form in the days before I gave birth. Was still in the gym till 36 weeks and had a really good swim the day before dd was born. Not sure if the exercise helped me have an easy pregnancy but I like to think it did. But I was fortunate to not get anything that stopped me from exercising except for a few weeks of morning sickness.

Unfortunately this time morning sickness has hit me for longer and I am trying to get back into my fitness again at 16 weeks but finding it much tougher especially as I am juggling work and looking after dd now.

chloechloe Sun 02-Nov-14 18:24:39

I'm 20w tomorrow and have in the last few weeks started exercising again after being totally exhausted in the first trimester. I used to run and do Jillian Michaels DVDs but decided that the JM had too much jumping around that I ended up modifying a lot. I now do 30-45 min every week day before work, either pregnancy yoga, pilates or gymnastics. I feel absolutely amazing for it, it really helps keep my arms, legs and back strong and toned. I feel like I'm missing out a bit on the aerobic side but I usually go for a hike at the weekend and also spend 40min a day speedwalking to and from the train station!

There is evidence to show that being fit means a shorter labour and less likelihood.

I'm really impressed with all the sporty ladies on here, what an inspiration!

Kalinka16 Sun 02-Nov-14 18:29:22

During my last pregnancy 5 years ago, I was at the gym doing classes until 38 weeks, then swimming and aquanatal until 42 weeks (as well as lots of walking to try to get things going, it didn't help). I ended up having an EMCS but was back at the gym after 6 weeks so guess it all helped.
This time is a different story though. Wasn't as fit to start with then took it super easy (ie no gym at all) after ivf cycle, then a couple of holidays... I try to get to the gym a couple of times a week as well as pregnancy yoga weekly. But I'm nowhere near as fit as I was and I feel it. It's a question of finding time and energy (and the right class at the gym!) but I start every week with good intentions.
Can't wait to start aquanatal when my maternity leave starts!

chiruri Sun 02-Nov-14 18:44:55

Currently 29+6 and still exercising at least 3 days a week. Prior to becoming pregnant I was pretty heavily into Crossfit (a combination of cardiovascular exercise/bodyweight exercises and olympic weightlifting), and was really keen to keep it up as much as possible. It's very modifiable so I've been reducing my weights and scaling my movements over the course of the pregnancy and have felt no ill-effects whatsoever. It's really helped me feel more 'normal' and in control of my body. It's also kept the pregnancy weight gain in check, kept me more mobile, and so far I haven't had any swelling or stretch marks.

And yes, I am still lifting weights. I absolutely love it, and have had my trainers periodically check my form so I'm still lifting safely despite my growing baby bump (I even had video evidence!).

chiruri Sun 02-Nov-14 18:48:44

I forgot to say, listening to your body is absolutely essential! I took 2 weeks off exercise entirely in my 1st trimester due to horrendous nausea and exhaustion. In the past few weeks I've been getting more tired and nauseous again, so have cut down the gym to 3 days a week and have been tending to do my own programming rather than follow the set class as I can tailor it to my own comfort levels. It's been working for me so far.

ThursdayLast Sun 02-Nov-14 18:52:35

Just as a counter opinion.
I exercised (at home mostly, using dvds) and did a lot of walking right up until the day I went to be induced. My weight gain was healthy. I enjoyed my pregnancy.
I still had a long and exhausting labour hmm

ThursdayLast Sun 02-Nov-14 18:54:03

Oh yes, and my fairly physically demanding job was quite enough exercise for me in the first trimester grin
Only you know what's right for your body.

museumum Sun 02-Nov-14 18:57:10

I cycled to 38.5 weeks and had ds at 39.5. I felt good. I was very careful about traffic and adapted my routes as well as speed and adjusted my bike to a more upright position. It felt good. The position was comfy for me and really eased my lower back.
I was back out for a cycle three weeks post birth smile

ArgyMargy Sun 02-Nov-14 18:57:38

Like ThursdayLast, I was very active during both pregnancies and pretty much carried on as if I wasn't pregnant, doing gym, step, walking etc. Exhausted in first trimesters, recovering to feel fab in second & third. Both labours bloody freaking awful!!

ememsmum Sun 02-Nov-14 19:16:49

I gymmed up til 38 weeks - only twice per week after 32 weeks as I was limited to using the bike and doing resistance work. I went to aquanatal til 40 weeks but that was more social than exercise. I also had a fairly physical job and went on mat leave at 37 weeks. Am so proud my abs stayed strong til the end, to the point several MWs couldn't figure out presentation of baby - I had to have a scan to check she was head down! I had an emergency c section but was back in the gym at 8 weeks. I'm sure being fit helped with recovery from the surgery.

I'm now 8+3 with DC2 and haven't been to the gym for 2 weeks as am feeling v grotty. I can't see myself going back for a couple of weeks at least. Last pg I only had 1 week when I couldn't face the gym. Am going to have to ease gently back into it but am keen to ensure I regularly attend as long as I can.

kusmile Sun 02-Nov-14 20:45:22

I thought that it would be fine to continue to go to the gym, but my midwife point blank told me to avoid running, and basically not do anything apart from swimming, antenatal yoga and static bike confused I guess she thought it's better safe than sorry. Reading the replies above I feel a bit miffed that I just blindly followed her advice.

In the end I did about 40 mins walking a day, and went to the the gym 2-3 times a week and just did walking, cross trainer, lighter than usual weights and static bike. Since about 28 weeks I just do swimming because I'd rather be floating around than hefting my giant belly around.

Don't know the effect on labour because he's still in there!

Serenitysutton Sun 02-Nov-14 20:48:34

I wish I had been more active (am 18 weeks also) all I can claim is daily walks of up to 1hr. 1 tri I was just so tired, and at some points had a lot of breathlessness which increased massively when exerting so I was worried to push it. I'm doing antenatal yoga and I do have tracey Anderson's pregnancy project which I must start. Also want to swim a couple of times a week and continue walking.

fourthandfinal Sun 02-Nov-14 21:04:18

I'm 33+ weeks and am going out three times a week for a 'run'. Total distance each week is between 10-11 miles but literally half of that distance is walking now. I don't run for more than five minutes in a go and slow to a walk if anything aches or hurts. I've only just cut it down from four times a week and I have been gently cutting distance as I get bigger, doing interval training rather than running proper. Pre pregnancy, I was doing 20+ miles a week. That's my official exercise but I also do ~10-12 miles per week with 20 month old DC3 in buggy on school run, shopping and errands.

I think I feel better for keeping going but am trying to remember that it's not worth it if it kills me on the tiredness front. Weight gain is going up now but it's manageable, I think. Trying not to stress about it!

I was told to carry on as long as I felt I could but to watch for pelvic floor, any pain and ligaments softening in preparation for birth and not to fall over!!!

With DC3, I had early bleeds, GP said "official advice is to carry on as before" but old school MW said "stop immediately, how unwelcoming do you want to be?" So I just walked for that pregnancy....

enqueue Sun 02-Nov-14 21:19:42

Fourthandfinal - that's more or less what I am intending to do, keep going out but just walking more and running less if that feels appropriate. As I said I have started walking down the odd hill, just because that is when I am most likely to feel uncomfortable. I have just taken delivery of a gabrialla belly band so am hoping that will help!
I have had days when I feel pretty uncomfortable running but not enough days like that in a row to make me stop - you always have good days and bad days with running anyway, that is part of the lure of it I think!
Over the past 6 months I have been measuring runs by the number of wees I do as much as miles ran! I actually had a thought the other day that maybe I am helping strengthen my pelvic floor muscles - the amount of time I have spent looking for the best spot to wee must have helped surely?!

JontyDoggle37 Sun 02-Nov-14 22:37:51

Prior to pregnancy I was running 4 days a week, doing weights or Jillian michaels shred DVD 3 times a week and riding both my horses (dressage training, no jumping) every day.
I had a lot of breathlessness in first trimester and felt v. Tired, so now at 14 + 4 I'm fast walking 2 miles 4-5 days per week, doing weights 3x per week and riding one of my horses every other day. My dressage trainer is also pregnant (4 weeks ahead of me) so is very aware of how much is sensible to do, and I'm very aware of what is and is not sensible to attempt on my horse. I'm working the second horse from the floor. Once I get too big to get on/off safely, I'll continue to work both of them from the floor, plus continue walking and weights. I'm also looking to start pregnancy yoga in the next few weeks. My midwife was of the view that if you're used to it, keep going, just mitigate any risks as best you can.

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