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Following on from last weeks blog our Physiotherapist Zoe looks in to exercise both during and after pregnancy.
Another important topic that was discussed was exercise during pregnancy.
Research suggests that pregnant women without contraindications should aim to meet the prescribed physical activity guidelines for adults aged 18-64 years) which recommend:
- 150-300 mins of moderate intensity each week, OR
- 75-150 mins of vigorous intensity exercise each week, OR
- a combination of both
Previously inactive women or obese women should start with 15-20mins of moderate intensity 3-4 times a week, and gradually build up to 30mins.
If you are experiencing complications, or are unsure of your ability to exercise it is recommended that you seek guidance from your obstetrician. Exercise should be ceased if you start to experience chest pain, unexplained shortness of breath, dizziness, vaginal bleeding/amniotic fluid loss, uterine contractions or lower back pain.
What about returning to exercise post-natally?
Post-natally, it is common to have abdominal separation (AKA: DRAM), which if small will often heal on its own. If yours is more than 3 fingers wide, it is recommended that you complete a targeted exercise program, guided by a rehab Physiotherapist in order to prevent further complications. This can begin as soon as 2 days post-partum.
We also looked into running postnatally and in March 2019, the first ever evidence based recommendations for returning to running postnatally were released. “Returning to running postnatal – guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population” (Goom, Donnelly & Brockwell 2019). You can check out the full guideline here (https://mailchi.mp/38feb9423b2d/returning-to-running-postnatal-guideline)
The key messages from the guideline are:
– All postnatal women, regardless of delivery mode, should be assessed by a pelvic health physiotherapist prior to returning to high impact sport or running.
– It is recommended that women do not return until at least 3 months post natally
– Any signs or symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction indicates a need for further or ongoing assessment and management prior to continuing or progressing training.
Ensure you speak to your medical professional to get all the correct information that is relevant to you and they can then build a program tailored to your needs and get you back out and running once again!
About the Author
Zoe Tompkins — Manual Physiotherapist
Zoe graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Exercise Science/Human Movement, and from Melbourne University with a Doctor of Physiotherapy.