There are lots of myths attached to weight training during pregnancy. Lifting weights during pregnancy may seem daunting or dangerous, but it is actually a really good way to stay healthy and fit during pregnancy.
We have compiled a little guide for expecting mommies about the pros and cons of pregnancy weight training.
5 Benefits Of Lifting Weights During Pregnancy:
It has immense benefits and can help you through childbirth. Here they are:
1. Lift Weights For A Healthier Baby:
Prenatal exercise leads to healthier babies. Would-be-mothers who lift weights, research shows, experience:
- Shorter labor
- Shorter hospital stays
- Fewer complications
- Lower risk of pre-term birth
- Lower rates of perceived pain during labor
[ Read: Gym During Pregnancy ]
2. Benefits Your Baby Too! :
As for the babies, they would benefit from their mothers’ weight lifting too. Enlisted below are the direct benefits your baby will have if you lift weights:
- Babies’ hearts are more likely to resist cardiovascular problems in later life.
- They have stronger blood vessels.
- Their brains mature faster.
- They show higher APGAR scores.
- They handle stress of labor better.
[ Read: Pilates Exercises For Pregnant Women ]
3. Less Pain And Discomfort:
If you lift weights without the help of a personal trainer or without the consent of your gynecologist, you will experience pain and discomfort and things far more dangerous. But, if done right, lifting weight during pregnancy can reduce pain.
- Pelvic tilts can help reduce back pain.
- Seated leg curls will prevent pain in the knees as your belly grows.
- Plank exercises help in curbing back pain during pregnancy.
[ Read: Kegel Exercise During Pregnancy ]
4. Strengthen Your Body And Mind:
During childbirth, both you and your baby are going to experience a lot of stress. Lifting weights actually conditions you both and prepares you for the final event.
- Lifting weights and short bursts of activity season your body and build your confidence.
- You are less likely to have hard contractions as your body can handle stress better.
5. Easier Labor:
Labor is an extended strenuous process. So you have to build up your stamina to be able to endure the whole process without breaking down. If weight lifting has been a big part of your prenatal exercise routine, you will be able to:
- Focus on natural movement to ease the labor.
- Align your body easily to facilitate childbirth.
- Increase mobility of your muscles.
- Together, these factors can lead to a much more pleasant birthing experience.
[ Read: Swimming During Pregnancy ]
Risks And Precautionary Measures:
You can certainly lift weights during your pregnancy, as long as you do not over do it. Here are some safety measures you should take if you want to lift weights during pregnancy:
- First of all, visit your gynecologist. Only if they consent and believe it is okay for you to pursue the activity you should go ahead.
- Get a personal trainer if you don’t already have one.
- Do not do walking lunges as they can injure the connective tissue of your pelvic area.
[ Read: Walking During Pregnancy ]
- Do not do the Valsalva maneuver. It requires you to exhale without releasing the can. This quickly increases blood pressure and intra-abdominal pressure. So some of the oxygen that is delivered to the fetus may be channeled off to you, thereby lowering the amount of oxygen the fetus can receive.
- It is better to use lighter weights and more repetitions than you used to before pregnancy. This reduces the stress on joints which are actually loosened by the cocktail of hormones raging through your pregnant body. It also helps in building up your stamina for the labor and childbirth process.
- If you are in your second trimester and beyond, do not lift while lying on your back. This puts pressure on your vena cava, a major vein, and reduces blood flow to the uterus and your brain. You can tilt the bench at an angle for safe practice.
- It is possible that you may not be able to do all the lifting exercises you could do before you were pregnant. If so, don’t push your body and subject yourself to excessive fatigue. This is not the time to record your personal bests.
While performing weight lifting exercises during pregnancy can certainly help with a smoother delivery, going overboard on it can also cause harm to the fetus and also trigger a preterm labor. We suggest that you lift light weights and only under the supervision of a trained professional, to maximize your health benefits.
Try the tips outlined above and share with us your personal experience in the section below!
- 6 Amazing Benefits Of Walking During Pregnancy
- 7 Precautions For An Effective Pilates Workout During Pregnancy
- 5 Simple Kegel Exercises To Try Out During Pregnancy
- 5 Effective Exercises To Induce Labour Naturally