3 Safety Considerations Regarding Pregnancy and Aerobic Exercise

Women who exercise prior to becoming pregnant usually want to know how to keep exercising in a way that is safe for themselves and their baby. Here are some common considerations that should be kept in mind.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can occur more easily during pregnancy so it is important to have an adequate intake of carbohydrates. If you are sedentary then you will only need an additional 300 cal/day but if you exercise then you should consume up to an additional 500 cal/day Additional calories will only contribute to pesky weight gain that could be challenging to lose after pregnancy.

The inferior vena cava can also be compressed as early as 16 weeks into pregnancy which can lead to decreased cardiac output and orthostatic hypotension. It occurs most often when you lay on your back or if you are standing still. Avoid these positions for a prolonged period of time.

It has been shown through multiple studies that healthy women who run through pregnancy may deliver 5 to 7 days earlier. Exercise can be performed mid to late pregnancy without risk of preterm labor or a premature rupture of membranes. Women who wish to continue strenuous or competitive exercise or participate in specific athletic training require close supervision by a physical therapist experienced in working with this population.

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