Busting Myths On Exercises During Pregnancy

So, the pregnancy report was positive, and now you’ve officially started nurturing a human being inside you. Your belly makes room for the new tenant (although they live rent-free), you feel like retching every time you yawn, and your heart swells every time you realize how tiny babies really are—you know the drill!

What often follows pregnancy like a tail is the mountain of suggestions and advice. “Do this”, “don’t do that”. “Stop Googling what it means if you sneeze thrice during pregnancy!” While expectant and new mothers try to follow every piece of advice, it often becomes difficult to differentiate between the facts and the myths. For instance, when people tell you that it’s time to get your gym membership canceled as soon as you see the two red lines on your pregnancy test kit, you know that’s not true. There’s no need to bid farewell to your Pilates group or put that yoga mat back on the shelf.

myth 1

The myths surrounding exercising during pregnancy have blown out of proportion, and sadly, the pile just keeps growing. However, it’s time to pause that and sort out that pile and only keep what’s worthwhile. Why should pregnancy come in the way of your fitness regime? Go for a jog, run, dance your heart out, stretch—it’s allowed! You may reduce the intensity of your exercise routine, but don’t stop altogether.

Of course, you cannot just take off on day one of your pregnancy, but once you get yourself checked by your doctor and get a go-ahead, there is no reason to spend your trimesters binging on show after show while satiating your food cravings.

Contrary to popular belief, exercising during pregnancy can help manage back aches and other antenatal problems. It also releases endorphins and boosts your mood. So, grab a pair of cute leggings, wear your favorite sports bra, tie your hair up in a bun, and let’s bust those myths together!

In This Article

Myth #1

You can’t start exercising during pregnancy if you don’t usually do it.

Myth 1

Busted!

You can. Start with low-intensity exercises like stretching and easy asanas. Work on your stamina, strength, balance, and mobility. Take deep breaths as you feel your tank top stretch comfortably around your growing belly.

Myth #2

Exercising puts your baby at risk.

Myth 2

Busted!

Quite the contrary. Exercise benefits both the mother and the baby. It assists in a relatively stress-free pregnancy and a healthy infant while helping the new mom recover faster post-delivery. Not moving or exercising at all may, in turn, hurt the baby and mother since it increases the risk of weight gain, high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, and diabetes.

Myth #3

You should only work out during pregnancy if you want to lose weight faster post-delivery.

Busted!

Weight loss is not necessarily the primary goal of exercising. Movement elevates mindfulness. Expectant mamas need to connect with their inner strength to bring another human into this world and care for them. At a time when everything seems uncertain and overwhelming, exercise creates balance.

Myth #4

You mustn’t lift weights.

Busted!

You can lift weights if you have worked with them before pregnancy. However, it’s best to consult your doctor and then exercise under the guidance of a professional trainer.

Myth #5

You must avoid core exercises.

Myth 5

Busted!

While dreaming of six-packs may not bear fruit anytime soon, considering how your tee stretches around the ever-growing belly, there’s no reason not to work on your core—start from your shoulders right down to the pelvic floor. Get those muscles moving and strengthen your core. We won’t judge if you wear your adorable maternity pullover and nap afterward!

Myth #6

Pregnancy equals a whole new exercise routine.

Busted!

You don’t need to revamp your whole routine, but tweaking it to suit your pregnancy may help—swap high-intensity workouts with low to moderate-intensity exercises. If you want to start something new, it’s best to learn under the guidance of a certified teacher.

Myth #7

You can’t exercise for six weeks after delivery.

Busted!

While your organs need time to shift to their original positions and your uterus needs time to shrink, you can take walks after a couple of days if you feel better and slowly add low-impact pelvic floor exercises to your routine. Don’t forget to wear those stretchable shorts while at it!

Myth #8

You can do all kinds of exercises during pregnancy.

Busted!

While not moving is a no-no, trying out all exercises is also not recommended. Avoid lying on your belly, backbends, extreme stretching, and retaining your breath. We suggest you not lie on your back for too long because this may lead the uterus and baby to press against the vessel (known as vena cava) that carries blood from the lower body to the heart. It may make you feel dizzy.

Myth #9

If you feel short of breath, stop exercising.

Myth 9

Busted!

Shortness of breath is common for expectant mothers because the baby pushes against the lungs. It happens even if you don’t exercise. The body heats up faster during pregnancy, so avoid hot and humid temperatures and wear comfortable, stretchable clothes (which are also cute). If the issue seems increasingly uncomfortable, contact your doctor for advice.

Myth #10

You can’t work out in your third trimester.

Busted!

If you do not have any pregnancy-related complications, you can exercise straight up to your due date, albeit after your doctor’s approval. If you do yoga, scale it down and seek help from a professional practitioner.

Remember, you don’t need professional equipment to keep exercising. If walking helps you relax, wear that pair of stylish high-waisted leggings and go for it. If you prefer dancing, do that. Listen to your body, and maintain a stable exercise routine. Take one day at a time, and look like the queen you are with these gorgeous maternity clothes by Nike. Happy parenting!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is general in nature and not intended to provide or constitute medical advice. Expectant mothers should consult a qualified healthcare professional before beginning any exercise program.

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Soumita Ghosh

Soumita Ghosh

Writer, painter, and an avid reader, Soumita loves to indulge in the arts that she loves. She has a Master’s Degree in English and is a Brands writer at MomJunction. Her writing journey began in 2017, and since then, she has been swimming in the world of articles, social media content, travelogs, and web content, among several other things.