Guest Blog – Exercise During Pregnancy Common Questions – Lorraine Scapens

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Keeping fit and doing daily activity during pregnancy has many benefits for both mum and baby but it can be hard for mums to know what is safe and what is not. This is why we have asked Lorraine Scapens from Pregnancyexercise.co.nz to answer your questions about exercising during pregnancy.

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Lorraine Scapens is a pre- and postnatal exercise and wellness specialist, and has over 20 years experience. Her focus is on diastasis prevention; healing and ensuring mums are pain free and can enjoy living an active life with their kids. Lorraine created her website Pregnancyexercise.co.nz five years ago as she wanted more women to benefit from her knowledge and experience.

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Back Pain

Many women suffer with lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy but the good news is you don’t have to and most pain can be prevented and or treated. Back pain in pregnancy is often caused due to:

  • Pregnancy hormones – relaxing and loosening ligaments,
  • Poor posture,
  • Diastasis Recti – Abdominal muscle separation

If we can manage the above factors then more mums can enjoy a pain free pregnancy.

1. Hormones 

Pregnancy hormones may play a huge role in increasing lower back discomfort as they help to relax and soften the ligaments and muscle tissue. This needs to happen so we can accommodate a growing uterus and then eventually push baby out.

But unfortunately this softening can create joint instability, which can often lead to pain.

We can minimise the above risk with corrective exercises that focus on improving core and glute strength. Exercises such as Hip Bridges and Standing Kickbacks are perfect examples of this type of exercise.

It is also good to note here that if you are very flexible prior to pregnancy then yoga during pregnancy may make you too loose and create pain. Functional Strength training would be a better option.

Pregnant Woman And Back Pain

2. Posture 

Poor posture will increase pain and discomfort and again due to the pregnancy hormones we are more affected when pregnant.

As females we often tend to cross our legs and stand on one hip, we often get away with this but not during pregnancy. Those pesky hormones doing their job mean muscle imbalances are more easily created, especially around the pelvis.

Tips:

  • Try to keep your weight balanced when standing so don’t sway on to one side.
  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed.
  • Use a pillow to support your leg whilst lying on your side.

3. Diastasis Recti 

A large Diastsais can be problematic and may increase back pain. Diastasis is abdominal muscle separation that occurs natural during pregnancy. Contracting the core muscle during pregnancy is hard enough with a baby and extra fluid to contend with never mind a gap at the front of our all important core system.

Prevention is key and pre pregnancy is the best time to start improving your posture and core strength. During pregnancy ensure you do exercises to continue to strengthen your core and glutes and again maintain good posture.

Beautiful pregnant woman smiling and doing exercises isolated

You will find more helpful information for you on Lorraine’s website:

What Women need to know about Diastasis Recti

Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Core Strength Pregnancy Exercises

Upcoming event: Women’s Health Seminar – This Saturday!

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Full Spectrum Training Facility in Warkworth is holding a Womens’ Wellness Seminar this Saturday (October the 29th) where myself and Lorraine Scapens from Pregnancy Exercise will each be holding a session as part of a fun wellness morning!

This will be a two part seminar designed to educate women on the physiological changes occurring in their bodies around pregnancy. This is not just for new mums, but any ladies wanting to know more about their bodies and how to feed them for a healthier lifestyle and support safe exercise following children.

All tickets from Event Finder here!

Happy Moving,

xxx Dr Julie Bhosale