Pregnancy exercise is a series of gymnastic movements intended for pregnant women. Pregnancy exercise movements are generally safe and light, so they can be done at various gestational ages. The main purpose of pregnancy exercise is to help pregnant women prepare for the birth process.
Exercising or undergoing regular physical activity during pregnancy is an important thing that needs to be done. In addition to keeping the body healthy and fit, exercise also helps pregnant women to adapt to changes in body shape and weight. Various types of light exercise can be done during pregnancy, including walking, swimming, or yoga.
One of the other types of exercise that can be done during pregnancy is pregnancy exercise. Every movement in pregnancy exercise is generally easy to do, and if done regularly can increase the body's muscle strength in the face of childbirth. In addition, pregnancy exercise also has other benefits, namely:
- Reduce back pain.
- Prevent constipation.
- Lowers the risk of diabetes, preeclampsia, and the need for cesarean section.
- Maintain ideal body weight during pregnancy.
- Strengthens the heart and blood vessels.
- Practice nose, stomach and chest breathing.
- Practice good birthing positions.
Psychologically, pregnancy exercise is also useful for reducing stress and calming the mind, so that pregnant women can be calmer when facing the birth process.
Pregnancy Exercise Indications
Pregnancy exercise is good for every pregnant woman with a healthy pregnancy condition, and does not experience complications or abnormalities. Pregnancy exercise generally lasts for 30 minutes per session, and is done at least 3-4 times a week. If pregnant women have not or rarely exercised before, pregnancy exercise can be started with the lightest movements and carried out for 10-15 minutes per session. However, the exercise continued to be gradually increased to at least 30 minutes per session.
There are several things that every pregnant woman needs to pay attention to before undergoing pregnancy exercise, including:
- Pregnant women are not recommended to undergo pregnancy exercise, if they have the following conditions:
- Suffering from medical disorders, such as asthma, heart and lung disease, and hypertension.
- Having problems with the cervical organs.
- Vaginal bleeding or blood spots appear.
- Disorders of the placenta or placenta.
- Have a history of premature birth in a previous pregnancy.
- Twin pregnancy detected.
- Avoid movements that are dangerous or pose a risk of injury, including:
- Holding your breath too long.
- Movements that require a supine position for a long time, especially when pregnant women begin to enter the second trimester of pregnancy. This position can cause blood flow that should be throughout the body back to the heart and make pregnant women dizzy and faint.
- Movements that pose a risk of minor injury to the abdomen, such as sudden movements or rapid changes of direction.
- Jump movement.
- Knee bending too deep sit-ups, and lift both legs.
- Waist twisting motion when standing.
Make sure every movement is carried out according to the instructions if pregnancy exercise is done at home, or under the supervision of a gymnastics instructor if it is done at the gym.
Before Pregnancy Exercise
There are several things that every pregnant woman needs to prepare before undergoing pregnancy exercise, including:
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for exercising, to reduce the risk of injury.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
- Consumption of nutritious food, at least 1 hour before undergoing pregnancy exercise.
- Try to do pregnancy exercises indoors, and avoid hot and humid temperatures.
- Warm up before doing pregnancy exercise and cool down after.
- Don't force your body to continue doing pregnancy exercises if you feel tired. Take a short break to restore stamina.
- Always follow the movement according to the instructions slowly to reduce the risk of injury.
Every pregnant woman is recommended to consult with an obstetrician first before undergoing pregnancy exercise, to ensure the condition of the pregnant woman and the fetus.
Pregnancy Exercise Procedure
Pregnancy exercise always begins with a warm-up and stretching for 5 minutes, then continues with a 15-minute exercise, and ends with a cool-down. Here are some movements in pregnancy exercise, including:
- Stretching movement.Stretching exercises make the muscles of the body more flexible and relieve pain that may be experienced during pregnancy. Here are some simple stretching movements that pregnant women can do, including:
- Neck rotation. Relax your neck and shoulders. Bow your head forward. Then, slowly move your head toward your right shoulder, back to the center, then to your left shoulder. Perform neck rotation movement 4 times, then do it in the opposite direction.
- Shoulder rotation. Lift your shoulders up to your ears, then turn your shoulders from behind your ears towards the front. Do as much as 4 rounds, then do the opposite direction.
- Thigh stretch (lunges). Stand facing forward. Place one foot in front and the other foot behind. Bend the knee of the front leg and allow the knee of the back leg to bend as well. Keep your back straight. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times in 1 day.
- Leg stretch. Sit with both legs straightened. Flex the leg, then move and rock the leg up and down.
- Ankle rotation. In a sitting position, straighten your legs in front of you. Flex your toes, then rotate your ankles and soles of your feet clockwise. Do this 4 times for each leg, then turn in the opposite direction.
- Gymnastics movement. Movements in pregnancy exercise are carried out to train muscle strength, increase body flexibility, and train the breathing and circulatory system of pregnant women. Here are some movements in pregnancy exercise.
- Sitting cross-legged. Pregnancy exercise begins with a cross-legged sitting position and back straight, then place both hands on the left and right sides of the body while pressing the floor. Take a deep breath, then release it slowly. This movement is useful for practicing breathing in pregnant women.
- Lying position. In a lying body position, lift the leg up and down again. Do it 4-5 times. This exercise is useful for flexing the pelvic muscles, so that the pelvic muscles are not tense when pregnant women face contractions during labor. The movement of lying down also helps overcome the problem of sleeplessness experienced by pregnant women.
- arm exercise (hands and back up train). In a sitting position, raise your arms above your head and place your palms facing each other. Hold this position for 20 seconds, then lower your arms by extending them to the sides. Repeat the movement up to 5 times. This exercise is useful for launching the circulatory system and training the muscles of the body.
- Pelvic muscle exercise. Pelvic muscle exercises can be done in several ways:
- In a lying position, bend your knees towards your stomach, then take a deep breath and slowly release it. Hold the position for 5 minutes, then straighten your legs and repeat. This movement is very important to practice normal birthing positions.
- Use an exercise ball as an aid to do this exercise. Sit on the ball with your feet touching the floor. Keep your back straight and count to 5-10, then relax. This exercise is useful for flexing the pelvic muscles when facing normal labor and overcoming the pain experienced by pregnant women.
- Squat down. Start with a standing position with your back to the wall with your legs slightly spread apart. Place the exercise ball between the wall and your back. Lower slowly until your knees form a 90-degree angle, then return to the starting position. Do it 10 times. This exercise can help pregnant women in dealing with the process of opening the birth canal during labor and relieve pain during pregnancy.
- Push-ups Wall. In a standing position facing the wall, straighten your palms until they touch the wall. Slowly bend your elbows and lean forward until your face is close to the wall. Try to keep your back straight. Repeat this movement 5-10 times. Push-ups The wall is useful for practicing the breathing of pregnant women, which will be needed when pushing or pushing in the labor process later.
- Cobbler pose.Sit with your back straight, then bend your knees and bring your feet together. Hold this position for a few seconds. Cobbler pose useful for flexing the pelvic muscles.
- Pelvic tilt. This movement can strengthen the abdominal muscles and relieve back pain that appears during pregnancy and during childbirth. This movement is performed in a crawling position, with your knees and palms touching the floor. Keep your arms straight, but don't lock your elbows. Inhale, hold for a count of 5, and exhale slowly, then relax your back. As you inhale, tighten your abdominal, pelvic and back muscles. Do it 10 times, at least once a day.
In addition, there are other types of pregnancy exercises that can also be done by pregnant women, namely:
- Kegels.Kegel exercises are performed to strengthen the lower pelvic muscles, including the bladder, uterus, and large intestine, so that pregnant women are able to improve urine control and control the pelvic muscles when facing labor. Kegel exercises are easy and light to do, with the following steps:
- The first step in Kegel exercises is to recognize the pelvic floor muscles. How to recognize these muscles by holding urine when urinating, then letting the urine out. The muscles that hold and let urine out are the pelvic floor muscles. Another way to recognize it is to insert one finger into the vagina, then try to press the muscles around the vagina. If the finger feels pinched, then the muscle will be trained.
- Once the pelvic floor muscles are detected, perform contraction exercises or tighten the muscles for 5-10 seconds, then relax. Repeat the contraction exercise 10-20 times, at least 3 times a day.
- Try not to move your legs and abdominal muscles while doing Kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises can be done anytime and anywhere, either in a sitting, standing, or lying position. Kegel exercises can also be done with the same movement as holding back the wind
- Tailor Training. The movements in the Tailor exercise are useful for strengthening the pelvic, hip, and thigh muscles, as well as relieving back pain.
- Tailor sits.Sit up straight with your legs crossed. Keep your back straight, but your body relaxed.
- Tailor press.Tailor press movements are carried out to stretch the pelvic and thigh muscles, as well as strengthen the arm and leg muscles. This movement is performed in a sitting position with the knees bent and the soles of the feet facing each other. Pull the opposite foot closer to the body. Place your palms under your knees. Move your knees toward the floor, but at the same time, hold your knees in pressure and push them up with your palms. Count to 3, then relax. Repeat the tailor press movement 10 times, and do it 2 times a day.
Pregnancy Gymnastics Risks
Pregnancy exercise is safe to do if according to the instructions given. However, stop exercising immediately and consult a doctor if you experience the following:
- Chest pain.
- Pain in the abdomen and pelvis, or continuous contractions.
- Fetal movements are reduced or less frequent.
- Dizziness and nausea.
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Irregular or fast heartbeat.
- Swelling in the ankles, hands, and face.
- Hard to breathe.
- It's hard to walk.
- Muscles weaken.