Pregnant women should consult their health care provider about whether they should perform exercises during their pregnancy.
Usually, doctors recommend pregnant women walk for at least two hours a day. Regularly performing physical activities lessen the risk of pregnancy complications and ease the pregnancy discomforts like back pain. Doctors also advise women to do simple yoga during their pregnancy. However, doctors recommend pregnant women perform exercises during their first trimester.
Performing exercises in the second trimester can create some risks such as a drop in blood pressure, disrupting the baby’s blood supply, etc. As these nine months are crucial for a woman, she should always consult her health care provider regarding any doubts related to diet, exercise, or anything.
Are sit-ups safe for pregnant women?
Usually, doing exercise during pregnancy depends on the women’s fitness level before and during pregnancy. If a woman is a gym person and has regular activities, she can follow a mild exercise routine during her pregnancy period. But if a woman is facing any health complications during her pregnancy, she should avoid any physical strain, especially sit-ups.
Maintaining a prenatal exercise regime prepares a woman’s body to have a smooth labor. Sit-ups help strengthen the abdominal muscles, which improve the chances of undergoing a normal delivery. However, before following any exercise routine, women should consult their gynecologist to avoid any risk or complications.
Points that pregnant women should remember while doing sit-ups
Here are some points that pregnant women should consider while doing sit-ups during their pregnancy period:
- Avoid disclosing yourself too much to the sun and wear comfortable clothes.
- Always stay hydrated while doing sit-ups to avoid painful muscle cramps.
- Try to follow a simple and mild exercise regime so that you do not sweat much.
- Quit exercising if you have any illness or suffering from any complications during your pregnancy.
- It is very significant to avoid raising your body temperature too high during pregnancy. So, do not perform any strenuous exercise during these nine months.
- Avoid sit-ups if you are pregnant with twins or more.
- The most important thing is listening to your body, which means that if you feel weak and don’t feel like working out, do not perform the exercise.
- Do 20 sit-ups in a set not more than that. Take a short break after the first set and then start the next set.
When should you stop doing sit-ups during pregnancy?
Following are some of the situations that suggest you stop doing sit-ups immediately:
- If you are feeling dizzy.
- If you are having any pain or discomfort.
- If you face any breathing issues.
- If there is any discharge or vaginal bleeding.
- If you suffer from headaches or contractions.
What are the risks involved in doing sit-ups during pregnancy?
In the first trimester working on the lower back while doing sit-ups can help you during your pregnancy. However, doctors do not advise lying on your back as soon as the second trimester starts because it increases the stress on the uterus, which can adversely affect the blood circulation and oxygen supply to the fetus.
During pregnancy, women should practice sit-ups under the supervision of a fitness trainer because it involves the risk of losing balance and suffering a fall.
Prenatal exercise can help you work out safely according to the body’s changing needs during pregnancy, but one should do it after consulting the health care provider. Walking is the safest kind of exercise during pregnancy.
Are crunches safe for pregnant women?
You can safely perform crunches during the first trimester, and it is quite safe. Doctors recommend performing crunches during the first four months of pregnancy but in moderate amounts. It is very important to make sure that while performing exercises, you are taking the right precautions. Try to work out in a comfortable place.
In case you experience any discomfort or any physical issues like cramps and pain, immediately stop exercising.
If you continue doing crunches in the second and third trimesters, you may face some symptomatic effects such as vomiting, fainting, ashen skin, dizziness, etc.
This happens because the increase in the size of the fetus cramps up the space inside the abdomen, and it might even exert pressure on the vena cava (the large vein that supplies oxygen-poor blood to the heart).
Women may experience disoriented states when the blood circulation towards the heart slows down. If this happens, lie down on the left side of your body to allow continuing blood supply to the heart.
Should a pregnant woman consult a doctor before starting exercise?
Yes, consulting a doctor is the best thing to do. It would be best if you always took advice from your gynecologist before doing anything that could put a strain on your pregnancy. Usually, doctors permit you to perform exercising if you do not have any complications. If you experience any strain in your body, then you should stop doing exercises immediately.
How can you do sit-ups?
Sit-ups, also known as abdominal crunches, don’t require any equipment or membership in the gym. One can do it in the comfort of their room.
Steps to be followed while doing sit-ups
- Put a mat on the floor and lie down on your back flat against it.
- Bend your legs at the knees, holding your soles securely against the floor.
- Place your hand behind your head to get started.
- Primarily, breathe out and raise your body towards your knees.
- Then breathe in and go back to your starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Do this exercise in three sets of ten reps each.
- You should take a rest of around two minutes between each set.
What are the benefits of doing sit-ups during the first trimester of pregnancy
Crunches help you to make your abs stronger. Some of the benefits are as follows:
- It leads to making a stronger core that improves the overall strength of your body.
- Sit-ups help to minimize the risk of a common pregnancy symptom, which is lower back pain.
- It helps to maintain and develop better balance and posture.
- It improves the support to back muscles which persists a huge strain because of the pressure from the growing uterus.
- Normal delivery becomes very easier if you have performed sit-ups during your first trimester.
- It tries to ease labor as it supports the pelvic muscles.
- It maintains the abdominal area in shape so that you could recover faster after giving birth.
Antara Chowdhury is a Content Marketer and Strategist with 6 years of experience. She is Master degree holder in Journalism and wants to explore everything she can write on.