The first month of pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also brings many changes to your body. Often feeling fatigued and nauseated in the first month, many women do not want to give a thought to exercise. Exercise during the first month of pregnancy is safe, though, and may provide some relief to those perky discomforts associated with early pregnancy.
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Early Pregnancy Discomforts
Hormonal changes in the first month of pregnancy, which are responsible for the growth of the baby and placenta, can cause a host of discomforts. Some women may feel dizzy, lightheaded and short of breath. You may also have a stuffy nose, feel tired and nauseated, and the urge to urinate often.
The Beneficial Exercises
Exercises in early pregnancy should focus on achieving flexibility, strength and endurance, all of which will help to relieve some of your discomforts. Such exercises could include pelvic tilts, squats, lunges, yoga poses, lifting light hand weights, leg lifts, brisk walking, swimming or prenatal aerobics classes.
What to Avoid
In the first month of pregnancy you will need to take caution with certain exercises that put undue strain on your uterine ligaments, pelvic floor muscles and lower back. Avoid exercises that include jerky, bouncy movements such as jumping rope, horseback riding or the use of a trampoline.
Guidelines For Prenatal Exercises
When exercising, dress in loose fitting, comfortable clothing, keep a water bottle available, and drink before, during and after exercise to stay hydrated. Also use slow, controlled movements. Keep your blood sugar levels elevated by eating whole grains with protein; wait 30 minutes to exercise after eating a meal and keep snacks handy while exercising and for afterward. Exercise 20 to 30 minutes each day, three to five times a week.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Exercising Through Your Pregnancy: Clapp, M.D. & Cram, M.S.
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham & Bolding
- American Pregnancy Association: Pregnancy Exercise Guidelines