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Exercise while pregnant?

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Exercise while pregnant?

    Up to about a year ago, I was reasonably physically active. Not very athletic, but I sometimes went to the gym, jogged on the treadmill, did yoga or some other sports.
    When I started fertility treatments about 9 months ago, my doctor told me to stop all physical activity. In retrospect, I think much of what this doctor told me was far too conservative -- or sometimes just downright wrong -- but I listened to him at the time.
    The total lack of exercise (practical bedrest when I wasn't at work) plus the hormone treatments caused me to gain some weight.
    Then, I was exhausted during my first trimester and continued not to exercise. I am shockingly unfit -- climbing two flights of stairs leaves me winded.
    Now, my exhaustion / nausea are lifting and I feel I should get in shape again.
    Was Doctor #1 right? Is exercise dangerous? He really crushed my confidence.
    That said, he also said all women should have C-sections, so I don't think he was interested in getting patients fit and ready for natural birth.
    There's that -- plus the fact that I don't want to get HUGE and then have to diet like crazy after the birth.
    I've gained about 2 kg in 3 months, which I think is fine. But I don't want to balloon like a gf of mine who put on 60 lbs!
    Any help?

  2. #2
    newmother is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Hong Kong

    I did pre-natal yoga and loved it.

  3. #3
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    hong kong

    firstly, i would have a hard time trusting anything a doctor whose belief is "all women should have c-sections" says. I think the general advice about exercise & pregnancy is so long as it's not too hard on your joints & you haven't had any complications (like bleeding), then it's fine. I would suggest keep it gentle - walking, prenatal yoga or pilates, swimming - & listen to your body. if it's telling you to stop and rest, then stop and rest. with my first pregnancy, i did pump classes a couple of times a week until i was about 4 or 5 months pregnant - just dropped the weights to quite low - but i had been doing it regularly before i got pregnant & was already conditioned. it's probably not a good idea to take it up if you hadn't been doing it before! this time, i wasn't as fit before i got pregnant, so i've just been walking & doing prenatal yoga. i always feel much better when i've done at least a little bit of exercise - even just a 15 minute walk does wonders!

  4. #4
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Sounds like you have a terribly conservative doctor. I have heard of doctors in HK who virtually recommend bed rest to all their patients.. apparently they serve wealthy & pampered women!

    Most textbooks and obstetricians (Western at least) will recommend staying fit during pregnancy, for your own health, the baby's and for moderating your weight gain, provided there are no medical complications for baby or yourself. You do need your doctor's "okay" before you embark on vigorous exercise, so either try to talk to yoiur doctor again or get a second opinion. Culturally I find Hong kongers overprotective of pregnant women.

    With my doctor's blessing, I swam, did pre-natal yoga and went for pregnancy massage. I also walked up stairs and the hilly area near my home. In fact, the more advanced my pregnancy, the more I swam as I was preparing for a natural birth. Overall I gained 15 kg/30lbs during pregnancy which is within the normal range. But I ended up having an emergency c-section.

    The exercise and yoga helped me feel good throughout my pregnancy and helped beat some of the aches and pains associated with 3rd trimester. I would recommend exercise as long as it is endorsed by your doctor.

  5. #5
    taysty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Chai Wan

    My doctor isnt so conservative. I gain like more than 20kg for my pregnancy. I had a miscarriage before therefore just too afraid to do anything vigorously. So end up shedding only less than 10kg. Just ballooned up. :(

    Therefore, when going for baby #2, i'm not going to let that happen.

    In fact, swimming is a very good exercise. I'm going to pick up yoga slowly, and start to eat wisely again.

    Hope i can regain where i was before i'm pregnant.

    Good luck ladies.

    @ Gracey

    When are you due?

  6. #6
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District

    i did pre-natal yoga, light weights (3-5lbs) and walking...swimming is good, but i just don't like swimming. you can ask the instructor at fitness centres to recommend exercises for pregnant ladies - it should be no problem!

    you wil find that you get tired more easily than before ...walking up stairs WILL be more exhausting, it's just natural. do remember to listen to your body and don't over exert definitely does "feel" better if you exercise during pregnancy, but apart from pre-natal yoga don't try anything new now,

  7. #7
    TNT is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Hong Kong

    @lalligirl i totally agree with you especially about the c section comment! Also there is lots of research to show that exercise in pregnancy is very beneficial - no exercise at all (unless of course there are complications and/or special circumstances) is a very outdated approach. However as PP have said, as you are not currently fit just take it easy and listen to your body, especially as the heat and humidity increases. But find something you enjoy, swimming, walking, gym work as recommended by someone with experience with pregnancy, pre natal yoga/pilates. You will cope with pregnancy much better if you have some fitness and it also makes you feel so much better in yourself apart from helping with healthy weight gain.

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    I don't think "conservative" is the term to really describe your doctor (his response is an overreaction, I think, though) and unless you've had complications warranting it (as mentioned before: bleeding/threat of miscarriage etc.) then I think it is a very bad idea to be inactive. Muscles atrophy if they're not used and this can cause all kinds of problems for you including back problems later on in pregnancy. Also, labor is called labor for a reason--it's hard work and the more stamina you have in general, the better off things can go.

    But, I don't think you have to "exercise" in the classic sense. Just be active. Be active in your daily life. Decades ago very few people really "exercised" but they had physically demanding jobs (washing clothes by hands, no lifts or escalators etc.) so they just stayed fit on a day-to-day basis.

    One of the best things you can do for yourself is walk. Walking is easy, not dangerous and can be done anywhere. How hard you push yourself, as laligirl said, depends on what signals your body is giving you. If you can do it, walk the stairs in your apartment building. If that's too much just make sure you walk as much as you can every day. This is good for your bones (weight-bearing exercise) and simple.

    Swimming is also FANTASTIC when you're pregnant. This time around, my skin has been so itchy that I can't go in the pool because of the chlorine but with my first pregnancy, I loved swimming. I also did prenatal pilates up until a couple of weeks ago (I'm 9 months right now). Also, I just find that stretching at home is helpful--just keeping my hips, legs and everything else limber helps me deal with body tension. These last few weeks I'm doing some prenatal belly dancing videos at home--belly dancing is great as the movements open up the hips and get your ready to give birth. Even having an exercise ball at home you can sit on and rotate your hips on is going to give you more flexibility and comfort.

    And I do have to add that even if you do everything in your power to not "balloon" in your pregnancy, sometimes your weight gain is really out of your control. (That's got to be one of the most frustrating things about pregnancy, I think--the fact that your body just decides what it's going to do and you sometimes just have to go along with it).

    I got really big with my first pregnancy (I gained 80 pounds--obviously putting your girlfriend who gained only a mere 60 to shame, ha!) and I vowed that I wouldn't get "that huge" again this time. I've drastically changed not only my eating habits but my lifestyle and while I've not gained 80 pounds I've probably gained around 40 pounds this time which is more than I had hoped. I got really depressed about it for awhile but I've moved on.

    Physically, I feel really pretty good this pregnancy (despite an old injury in my back being bothered and the skin problems) and I know I am really active--I walk at least 2-3 miles/day because I walk to and from work. I work all day which means I'm very active on my feet (I don't have a desk job) and after work I chase my 3-year-old around. I eat a lot of greens every day (helps me deal with the increasing indigestion problems that come with the 3rd trimester) and I'm doing really well on the health front.

    I feel physically and mentally prepared to go through a natural, medication-free, childbirth as I did with my first son and to me, that is what matters. So, psychologically, I find it's pretty pointless to get caught up on what number you are on a scale--it's better to just be kind and gentle to your body and your baby and if you have a "ton of weight" to lose afterward, so be it.

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