Monthly Archives: August 2010

Is It OK To Exercise During Pregnancy?

Weight gain is one of the primary concerns of women during pregnancy.  To keep from gaining too much weight, doctors recommend exercising during pregnancy.  This had some women asking whether or not it is alright to exercise during gestation.

Exercising while pregnant has a lot of benefits especially for the mother.  As we all know getting tired easily most specifically during the first trimester is one of the downside to being pregnant.  Exercising can help combat this feeling of tiredness as it releases adrenalin and endorphins in the body.  This is the reason why we feel invigorated after a session in the gym.  Exercise can also help women not only burn excess calories ingested while “eating for two” it increases endurance and stamina which women will need during the labor process.

One of the best forms of exercise during pregnancy is walking.  This is easy and everybody can do it.  If you are just starting to exercise, start slowly.  You can start brisk walking for 10-15 minutes per day and then increase the length gradually.  If you’re used to exercising, then a 20-30 minute brisk walk should be no problem.  Remember to wear comfortable shoes during your brisk walk.

Swimming is another good option.  This is something that pregnant women can do even during late in the third trimester of the pregnancy.  Swimming is very friendly for mom and baby and it can also help mom with her breathing exercises.  It is also a good alternative especially when one gets heavier as the baby grows.  Women tend to be clumsier during the last trimester as their center of gravity shifts.  So this form of exercise is relatively safer compared to walking.

Aside from walking and swimming, look into doing some Kegel’s too.  This exercise focuses on strengthening the elasticity of the pelvic muscles which is important during pushing out the baby.  This form of exercise is easy to do and you can do it anywhere.  Just imagine that you are holding in your pee.  As you feel these muscles contract, count until 10 and then release.  Repeat 10 times and then do one set in the morning and one set in the evening.

There are lots of other ways to exercise during pregnancy.  Light housework and gardening are great forms of exercise.  If doing gardening in the summer, remember not to stay outdoors for longer than 30 minutes as the heat can be too much.  When doing household chores, remember to stay away from lifting heavy stuff.  Leave the lifting to your hubby.

Except for those special cases wherein the woman is confined to strict bed rest while pregnant, keeping active may be enough of an exercise.  The constant movement can help burn calories and keeping active can chase those mood swings away.  Exercise during pregnancy helps increase oxygen supply to all body parts including the baby.  Oxygen is important in baby’s brain and mental development.

Most women experience back pain when they are pregnant.  Yoga exercise during pregnancy can help ease back pain by stretching those back muscles.  Yoga for pregnant women is specifically designed to help pregnant women relax, improve flexibility and strength.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms You May Not Know About

Are you nauseous?  Feeling bloated?  Have the urge to urinate frequently?  These are some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms experienced by expecting mothers.   While some do not suspect anything amiss until their missed period, here are more early pregnancy symptoms you can look out for during the early days of conception.

Some women experience light spotting 3-12 days after conceiving.  Spotting is usually pinkish to brownish in color but not heavy.  This happens while the zygote is trying to implant itself in the uterine lining.

The urge to urinate frequently can be caused by the hormone “human chorionic gonadotropin” or HCG.  Elevated levels of HCG are one of the signs of pregnancy caused by the implantation of the embryo in the uterus.

Having elevated body temperature during ovulation is normal.  Basal body temperature rises during ovulation and usually remains so even after ovulation.  Taking the BBT is one of the most reliable ways of knowing that ovulation has occurred.

Women can also complain of tender breasts and darker aureoles after conceiving and is considered as one of the early pregnancy symptoms.  This is usually due to the elevated hormonal levels and gradually wears off as the body gets used to it.  The bumps in the aureoles also get more prominent one week after conceiving.

Nausea or morning sickness is quite common in women during the early phase of pregnancy.  Although it is called morning sickness, feeling sick and nauseous can occur at any time of the day or night!

As the body gets used to its new occupant, women get tired easily.  This is because the body which is used to fueling one individual now has to produce energy for two instead.  This feeling of fatigue goes away after a few months as the body readjusts and re-computes energy demands for the new baby.

Cramping is not exclusive during the menstrual period.  Some women can experience cramping during the first few days after conception.  Other triggers that induce uterine cramping include frequent movement, exercise and orgasm.

Women complain of constipation during the first few days of pregnancy.  This is because of the elevated hormone levels causes the intestines to relax.  This change in bowel movement is usually temporary.

As hormone levels increase food cravings and mood swings can happen.  Some women feel the urge to eat large quantities of chocolates while some crave exotic foods.  Mood swings are also more frequent during the early stages.

A missing period may or may not be a sign of pregnancy but it is one of the most common.  Once you have missed your period a pregnancy test kit can easily confirm or rule out a pregnancy.

All of these may or may not be experienced by women during the first few days after conception.  Since all women are different, they respond to hormonal changes in the body in different ways.  Some do not have symptoms other than the missed period while others experience several or all of these early pregnancy symptoms.