13 Physical Activities To Avoid During Pregnancy
Expecting a baby is one of the most beautiful moments in a woman’s life. But pregnancy is a time of caution to ensure that both the mother and the baby are safe and healthy. If you are pregnant, you need to stop doing some activities, which could prove to be dangerous to you and the little one inside the womb. MomJunction helps you understand the physical activities to avoid when pregnant.
Physical Activities To Avoid During Pregnancy
Exercises and light activities ready your body for the ordeal of delivery. However, there are some activities to avoid while pregnant in order to ensure your baby’s safety (1). Confused? Read on to know.
1. Heavyweight training
Lifting heavy weights can strain your back and pelvis. It can also lead to leaking and increases the chances of prolapse (uterus slips into the vagina) (2). If you have to lift anything heavy, try to hold it close to your body. Slowly bend your knees and do not involve the back or twist while lifting. If you have had a miscarriage in the past, you must refrain from weight training.
2. Certain types of yoga
Yoga is a wonderful practice, but some positions that require a lot of stretching and twisting should be avoided. Closed twists, belly down postures, full inversions, and backbends are a few to avoid. Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, you have to consult your doctor before doing it during pregnancy. You may attend a prenatal yoga class, which is specifically designed for pregnant women.
3. Do not exercise lying on the stomach
Lying on the stomach in an uncomfortable posture may injure the baby, especially after the first trimester. Even an insignificant injury can have a significant consequence. Try modifying your exercise and make yourself comfortable.
4. Sauna bath or hot tubs
Relaxing in the hot bathtub can be dangerous as it can increase the chances of birth defects and also infectious ailments if the water or the tub is not clean. The water temperature used for bathing should be close to your body temperature (3).
5. Amusement rides
Amusement park rides are a big no-no during pregnancy. If you are prone to nausea, you must avoid anything that goes in a circular or vertical motion in the air. Avoid roller-coaster and such rides as they require a forceful take off and landing, which can harm your baby.
6. Running and jogging
Running and jogging are good for you only if you have been in a habit. Do not start a fresh running or jogging routine. Try to walk rather than run or jog, as you have better control over your speed and have fewer chances of injury.
Cycling is not a good idea for expectant moms. Experienced riders may continue until their second trimester. But as the pregnancy progresses, the center of balance shifts making cycling difficult. Also, riding in crowded roads and lone pathways may not be safe. A safer alternative is riding a stationary bike, but only until the second trimester.
8. High impact aerobics
They increase the likeliness of falling and injuring joints and ligaments that balance your body. Even if you have an experience in aerobics, you should avoid it in second and third trimesters. The ligaments tend to become loose and are more susceptible to injury.
9. Rigorous work
Pregnancy is a time to take things easy. If you wish to exercise, do it at home or a nearby gym. Indulge in only light exercises and with the air condition on. Ensure that your heart rate is below 140 beats per minute and the temperature below 102 degrees. If you begin feeling exhausted, then listen to your body and stop and take rest.
10. Downhill skiing and snowboarding
You must avoid downhill skiing and snowboarding as you may lose body balance and suffer from severe falls and injuries. If you want to ski, you may choose gentle slopes.
11. Scuba diving, surfing, and water-skiing
When you surface over waters, there are chances for air bubbles to form in your bloodstream putting you and your baby at risk. Also, surfing and water-skiing can increase the risk of falls and injury. The decompression during scuba diving could adversely affect the baby (5).
Even if you are a regular tennis player, you may have to avoid playing tennis during pregnancy as your body’s balance changes and you could have a fall and injure yourself.
13. Horseback riding
It is a highly dangerous activity during pregnancy. There is the risk of falls, and, you can never predict how a wild horse might react (6).
Being physically active is important in pregnancy as it prevents complications and makes your labor easy. But that does not give you the freedom to perform any physical activity. You need to be careful in your movements, especially after the first trimester. Prenatal yoga, back exercises and isometric exercises are good during pregnancy. However, consult your doctor before you take up any physical activities/ exercises.
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