Pregnancy is a wonderful experience in a woman's life. This is the time when you prioritize yourself and set aside everything else. When a woman is pregnant, she should avoid certain activities to avoid complications for both the mother and the baby. You can and should exercise during your pregnancy if you follow your doctor's advice. There are many activities that pregnant women can participate in, but some should be avoided. In this article, we will look at a list of activities to avoid during pregnancy.
- Heavy lifting
Moms, you might be a fitness freak or a gym lover. You can surely continue your workout regime but, without the weights. Just like weightlifting, strenuous activity during pregnancy can lead to injury more easily because of the changes to your body. Lifting anything heavy during this time can put pressure on your back and pelvis.
Ask for help when lifting and moving heavy objects. And if you absolutely must lift something, make sure you stretch beforehand and lift with your legs, not your back. Even at home, please try to avoid picking up anything heavy.
- Hot tubs & saunas
When it comes to hot tubs and saunas, both can be extremely relaxing, particularly if you are experiencing aches and pains during your pregnancy. You could also enjoy socializing with friends and family while enjoying the heat. However, both hot tubs and saunas raise body temperatures during the first trimester and have been linked to birth defects in babies due to extreme heat. Under no circumstances should you enter a sauna or hot tubs. However, if you want to enjoy a hot tub, you can dip your feet in for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can skip the hot tub, which typically maintains a water temperature of around 104°F, and instead take a warm bath.
- Adventure sports
After the first trimester, all of your baby’s organs and body systems are developing. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid any activity that carries the risk of falling. Cycling, skiing, ice skating, and rock climbing are all examples. These sports may cause an adrenaline rush, which some mothers may enjoy. However, these activities carry an elevated risk of injury. It is best to avoid them because they will make you feel nauseous, and the jerks and flips of the rides are extremely dangerous for your baby. Just a friendly reminder that the center of gravity shifts during pregnancy as the belly expands, so even a minor fall can result in injuries. Try to avoid such activities as much as possible.
- Contact sports
It is extremely crucial for pregnant women to avoid contact sports like football, baseball, and boxing.
Contact sports increase the risk of placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates prematurely from the uterine wall. Placental abruption is a serious condition that can result in premature birth, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Pregnant women are also more vulnerable to injury because hormonal changes in the body cause the ligaments to loosen. This may seem obvious, but many women believe they can participate in contact sports while remaining safe. These activities, however, are unpredictable. Even if you request that people not tackle you, they may overlook the fact that you are pregnant. You may also trip and fall, endangering both you and your child. Therefore, try to stick to low-impact activities like swimming, running on the treadmill, and taking spin classes.
Overall, while physical activity is important during pregnancy, it should not be at the expense of your health or the health of your baby. Light exercises, walks, and prenatal yoga are the best options for keeping you active without putting you or your baby in danger. However, before beginning any type of activity, please consult your doctor. Remember, you will not be pregnant indefinitely. Hang in there, as all these off-limits activities will soon be available to you again.
- Mong, D. (2022) Exercises to try - and avoid during pregnancy, Summa Health. Available at: https://www.summahealth.org/flourish/entries/2022/07/exercises-to-try-and-avoid-during-pregnancy (Accessed: February 14, 2023).
- Timmons, J. (2016) What's off-limits? 11 things not to do while pregnant, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/things-not-to-do-while-pregnant (Accessed: February 14, 2023).
- de Bellefonds, C. (2022) Exercises to avoid during pregnancy, What to Expect. WhattoExpect. Available at: https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercise-safety (Accessed: February 14, 2023).