Around 13 million women in Germany are physically active. Many of them will eventually experience pregnancy. But other women want to remain physically active during pregnancy and that's good, because a dosed exercise training is healthy for mother and child. It increases the physical, mental and emotional resilience, does good and is fun. If there are no medical reasons against it, every pregnant woman can discover for herself the positive effects of dosed sports.
Sport helps with pregnancy problems
Pregnancy-typical side effects - such as back problems, varicose veins, water retention (edema) - can be so alleviated or avoided. Stressed muscle groups (back, pelvic floor, abdomen) are sensitized and stabilized. The baby also benefits from the improved oxygen absorption due to athletic activity.
The well-being through sport is transferred into everyday life: this in turn strengthens the self-confidence. Women who exercise before and during pregnancy are better off with the efforts of childbirth because they have more stamina. After giving birth, they are able to get fit faster and better able to cope with the burdens of the new everyday life.
The German Federation of Sports Physicians recommends that the sport should not be stopped during pregnancy, but continued and adapted to the pregnancy accordingly. There are a number of sports that are well suited for the period of pregnancy: walking, aqua fitness, yoga or gymnastics for pregnant women, for example. They should be carried out under professionally competent guidance in a course. Of course, regular walks, cycling and swimming are recommended. On the other hand, caution should be exercised in sports that pose a risk of injury, such as jogging, aerobics, ball sports, horseback riding, rock climbing, alpine skiing and diving.
Tips for training in pregnancy
- pay attention to straight posture
- jerky movements and jumps that strain the pelvic floor, avoid more back-friendly movements
- Avoid exercises in the abdominal and supine position (from the 16th week of pregnancy)
- the straight abdominals do not exercise,
- no sit-ups (from the 16th week of pregnancy)
- Exercising in endurance sports with a heart rate monitor - heart rate should not exceed 140 per minute
- grant sufficient relaxation phases
- Wear proper footwear and a supportive bra
- Drink enough - before and after exercise, pay attention to a balanced diet
- always looking for personal well-being in sports
And after the birth?
After the birth, all women should complete a targeted and competently instructed regression training with a midwife. This is also useful after a cesarean section. Usually, you can start training about four to eight weeks after birth. Talk to your midwife about your optimal start date for the approximately ten-week course.
Objectives of the course training
- Activation of the circulation and metabolism
- Stabilization of particularly stressed muscle groups
- Strengthening of the pelvic floor and back muscles
- body reorientation
- targeted relaxation
Effective sports to build the fitness
To promote endurance after childbirth, walking, aquafitness, and low-level step classes are particularly useful. If you want to do more to strengthen your muscles, try backfitness or Pilates. For movement-intensive sports such as jogging, aerobics, tennis or other ball sports, the pelvic floor must be sufficiently strong, so that the physical stress during exercise does not harm the young mother. Caution is also required during strength training and intensive training of the straight abdominal muscles, as long as the pelvic floor is still weakened.
Sporting activity is good for expectant and young mothers in many ways. However, it depends on the right choice of activities.