In this post we will cover just a few common types of pain that can occur during pregnancy and how exercise can treat these ailments.
1. Leg Cramps: this can often be caused by a calcium or phosphorus imbalance, or improper circulation in pelvic area or leg.
- Exercise treatment: Be sure to incorporate plenty of warm up and cool down stretching for your calves and legs in general.
2. Ankle Swelling: this can often be caused by the increased weight of the fetus, which can impede circulation in your legs.
- Exercise treatment: Rhythmic exercises such as walking, aerobics and swimming can help to improve circulation. After these activities, you can also try elevating your legs and/or lie on your side.
3. Headaches: this is a common ailment during early pregnancy.
- Exercise treatment: a healthy balance of exercise and rest will help overcome this ailment along with adequate fluid intake.
4. Constipation and Hemorrhoids: this is often caused by an increased pressure on the bowels caused by the enlarged uterus.
- Exercise treatment: adequate exercise will increase blood flow to gastrointestinal tract which will increase mobility and reduce constipation. Water intake is also important here also, along with adequate fiber in your diet.
Diastasis Recti is described as the complete or partial separation of the rectus abdominal muscle, caused by the widening of the linea alba which finally gives way to the mechanical stresses of a developing pregnancy. In case your wondering, the linea alba is a tendon of fibres that holds together either side of the abdominal walls.
Diastasis Recti is most common during the third trimester and immediately after birth (postpartum). The following conditions can cause diastasis recti:
- Maternal Hormones: Estrogen, progresterone and relaxin all cause the connective tissue to become looser and less supportive.
- Physical Stress: Increased pressure within the abdominal cavity can be cause by a number of factors including: fetus size, number of fetuses (twins or more), placenta size, amount of amniotic fluid and weight gain. Keep in mind also that your abdominal muscles are designed to function in a vertical direction, shortening and lengthening, however pregnancy needs require the abdominal wall to expand horizontally. This will cause strain in new areas of your abdominals.
- Weak Abdominals: Abdominal muscles that are not trained or strengthened, before or during pregnancy, may not be ready to handle the stresses placed on them. They may give way leading to diastasis recti.
In order to avoid this discomfort during and/or after pregnancy, it is important to: (1) take part in an exercise program that is geared towards strengthening your abdominal wall, (2) keep track of your food intake to ensure that your weight gain is minimal and/or equal to what is recommended by your doctor and (3) keep track of your progress and be in tune with your body so that you can recognise any abnormality.
Check back to "FanTasie Pre & Post Natal Fitness" for a list of exercise that are safe and effective to strengthen your abdominals.
Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is a water soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body and must be replenished every day. Deficiencies usually occur with deficiencies of other B vitamins, however if you suffer from heart disease, cancer and diabetes mellitus, you might be at a higher risk and should ask your doctor about taking a supplement.
Why you need it: A deficiency of B2 may predispose a woman to preeclampsia, a dangerous condition sometimes found in later stages of pregnancy. Also individuals with hypothyroidism may be at risk for a deficiency of vitamin B2.
How much you need each day:
· Most women need 1.1 micrograms/day
· Pregnant women need 1.4 micrograms/day
· Lactating mothers need 1.6 micrograms per day
What is Folate and Folic acid? Folate occurs naturally in food, and is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid is the synthetic form that you can get from a supplement or find in fortified foods.
Why it is important: Women who are deficient in folate before or during pregnancy can have children with neural tube defects, low birth weight, or preterm delivery. Other conditions that might warrant a larger daily dose include individuals who abuse alcohol, individuals with mal-absorption, those on dialysis or those who suffer from liver disease and people with certain anemias. If you are taking anti-seizure medication, metformin (diabetes), barbiturate sedatives or take medications for Crohn's disease, you may also require extra supplementation.
How much does one need each day:
· Most women need 400 micrograms/day
· Pregnant women need 600 micrograms/day
· Lactating women need 500 micrograms/day
Foods that contain folate: You will mostly find folate in leafy greens like spinach and turnip greens, in citrus fruits, in dried beans and peas. It is currently also being added as folic acid to breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice and other grain products.
Do you know exactly what it is and how it occurs?
There are several issues that can occur during pregnancy. One of them is called Gestational Diabetes. It occurs when a hormone that the placenta produces, called progesterone, alters the way insulin functions in the body. You may already know that insulin is responsible for bringing glucose to the cells of your body, however, if there is a malfunction with insulin production and circulation, for various reasons, then blood glucose levels become dangerously high. When this happens a pregnant individual is diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
If this condition is not controlled it can develop further into a condition called macrosomia. With macrosomia, babies can grow disproportionately large. Adding to this, other complications for the baby can arise, namely:
- Baby being to big to be born vaginally (Cephalopelvic disproportion)
- Low calcium and magnesium levels
- Too many red blood cells (Polycythemia - mild or severe)
- Breathing difficulty
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is advised to seek or request close monitoring from your doctor or physician. You may also have to get clearance from your doctor in order to participate in vigorous or mild physical activity, depending on the severity of your gestational diabetes. The reason for this is because although exercise increases glucose uptake and can often alleviate some of the symptoms of gestational diabetes, your doctor will be able to tell you how much you should be doing in order to be safe during your pregnancy.
Another reason why a healthy lifestyle is important especially in today's society, before during and after pregnancy.
Have a look at this interview from Today and let me know your thoughts.
So you're pregnant, you're feeling tired, grumpy and uncomfortable. The last thing you want to think about is working out. I'm sorry to tell you this but..... you need to. The majority of women think that it is not necessary and a burden to exercise during pregnancy but the fact is there are a number of benefits acquired from a routine exercise program.
www.babies.sutterhealth.org has provided a list of benefits that you should keep in mind and be aware of:
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
Kim Lyons talk to FitnessRx Magazine about staying fit during pregnancy as well as her personal feelings about the experience. Have a look at the behind the scenes photo shoot taken from fitnessrxmag.com (Posted December 2, 2010)
Due to maternal energy requirements, pregnant women need to eat prior to exercise. However, due to gastrointestinal changes, eating too closely to a bout of exercise, can prove to be a pain. Caution should be given when eating directly before exercise, as the shift in blood flow away from digestive organs and toward the working muscles will aggravate heartburn symptoms. It is important to eat a light snack one to one and a half hours before the workout or exercise class. This should help get rid of or stop the problem.
During pregnancy, back pain is a common complaint. As the uterus grows, the internal organs, such as the intestines and stomach are pushed upward and the baby grows forward thus shifting your centre of gravity forward causing a change in balance. Some women accommodate the shift in the centre of gravity by widening their stance and placing their feet further apart to form a more stable base and relieve lumbar stress. Your fitness program during pregnancy should address the prevention and management of common pregnancy symptoms, such as low back pain, fatigue, poor posture and pelvic floor weakness. Speak to your trainer for more information or fill out the form in the ‘Contact me’ section with any questions you may have.