If the pregnant woman experience symptoms like pain, difficulty breathing or bleeding, she should cease exercising immediately. Any exercise that has the potential for the mother to incur an abdominal hit should be avoided. Several types of exercise should be avoided as a rule. These include exercises that have bouncing and leaping, as these increases the risk of falling. These can be the general restrictions.
Muscle- toning exercise: As the pregnancy progresses, the baby begins to place extra pressure on the arteries. This can affect the sleeping position as well as the exercise routine. After the third month of pregnancy, exercises such as abdominal crunches, or others which involve lying on the back should be avoided. Inverted poses like upside-down, bicycles, hand or shoulder stands, downward yoga positions should be avoided. Deep knee bends and back bends place too much strain on the body so must be avoided.
Sports: Sports that involve impact and potential falling risk like skiing and horse riding should be avoided. Soccer, basketball and football also increase injury and impact risk and should be avoided.
Medical conditions: History of cervical insufficiency, placenta previa, bleeding in the second or third trimester, high blood pressure or anaemia may prevent the mother from exercising altogether. Those with heart or lung disease also should avoid exercise.
The following activities can cause problems during pregnancy:
- Amusement park rides: Forceful landings or sudden start or stop may cause harm to the baby.
- Bicycling: Experienced riders may be able to continue until their second trimester.
- Contact sports: Basketball, football, hockey put you at a high risk of injury from a ball or puck, a collision with another player, or a fall during play.
- Gymnastics, horseback riding: Same risk of falling and increased chance of trauma to the abdomen.
- Post-sport tubs and saunas: Soaking in hot tubs or sitting in a sauna can be dangerous to the developing baby because overheating may lead to birth defects.
- Tennis: One may have problems with balance and sudden stops. Most women find that it is hard to keep up their game as their bellies get bigger in the second and third trimesters.
Running maybe an exception; however, if the woman was a runner before becoming pregnant she maybe familiar with how to run with a smooth gait. From the second trimester on, when the risk of falling increases, one should run with caution.
As with all forms of exercise, avoid the body from becoming overheated, and drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost through sweating.