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The benefits of exercise during pregnancy

Optimal pregnancy exercise guidelines will differ for every mum, depending on your pre-pregnancy activity level and how your pregnancy is progressing. In the absence of complications, prenatal exercise is safe, has minimal risks and extremely beneficial for maternal health.

Current expert consensus recommends regular exercise throughout pregnancy, aiming for 30 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise on most days of the week. A combination of cardiovascular and resistance based exercise has been shown to induce the most favourable effects for an expectant mum, whilst pelvic floor exercises both during and after delivery have been shown to maintain pelvic floor health and minimise post-natal complications including urinary incontinence.

    Studies have shown that exercise positively benefits pregnant women by:

  • Reducing the risk of gestational obesity, diabetes and associated complications
  • Reducing the risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia
  • Maintaining cardiovascular fitness, strength and conditioning for labour and motherhood
  • Preventing and alleviating musculoskeletal conditions including back pain and pelvic pain
  • Improving mental well-being and self esteem
  • Promoting faster post-partum recovery and reduces the risk of ongoing complications

A recent study found that 92% of women who experienced stress urinary incontinence 12 weeks after delivery continued to have symptoms 5 years later. The Continence Foundation of Australia also reports that 1 in 3 women whom have ever had a baby experience incontinence and urge that it should never be accepted as normal or inevitable, and should never be ignored. Incontinence doesn’t just ‘clear up’ on its own and is considered treatable in most cases. Protecting and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles safely before, during and after pregnancy is key.

For more advice on the right antenatal exercise for you, pelvic floor training or to join our antenatal pilates classes at the clinic don’t hesitate to call and make an appointment with our Physiotherapists Sophie and Nicole. Call The Physio Space or book online today!


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