During pregnancy, exercise can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor and delivery.Before you begin an exercise program,but make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. Although exercise during pregnancy is generally good for both mother and baby. For most pregnant women exercise for 30 minutes is required. Meanshile, Walking is a great exercise for beginners. However, it provides moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal stress on your joints. Other good choices include swimming, low-impact aerobics and cycling on a stationary bike. Moreover, during pregnancy many other factors also contribute to maintain this journey in which healthy diet contributes a major role. (1)
Factors associated with pregnancy:
1-Weight gain during pregnancy
The amount of weight gain during pregnancy is important for the health and maintenance of your body and for the long-term health of your baby. You are not the only soul that needs food, but you have to feed another soul that is your baby.
How much weight you should have gained during pregnancy?
Weight gain recommendations for women pregnant with one baby:
|If before pregnancy you were|
|You should gain|
BMI less than 18.5
|Normal weight |
BMI greater than or equal to 30
|11- 20 pounds|
What steps you should need to take to meet pregnancy weight gain recommendations?
- Firstly, eat a balanced diet with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low dairy, and more protein intake.
- Secondly, limit the amount of added sugars and solid fats in soft drinks, desserts, or fried foods.
- Thirdly, know your calories need- generally, the first trimester does not require any calorie intake. However, during second-trimester women need about 340 additional calories per day, while during the third trimester, she needs about 450 additional calories per day
- Fourthly, work up or maintain at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. (3)
2-Exercise during pregnancy:
Maintaining a regular exercise routine during pregnancy can help you to stay healthy and feel best.it also improves your posture and reduces discomfort.
What types of exercise are safe during pregnancy?
Most of the exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy unless you do it with caution and not overdo it.
The best exercises and productive activities to do in pregnancy are:
- Brisk walking
- Indoor stationary walking
- Step or elliptical machines
- Low-impact aerobics
- Tennis and raccquettball
- Moderate jogging 
If your pregnancy is going normal or healthy, it is safe to start regular exercise. Doing physical exercise does not increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery. However, it is necessary to discuss exercise with an obstetrician or any other member of your health care.
Benefits of exercise during pregnancy:
- Alleviates backache
- Relieves from constipation
- Lessens the risk of gestational diabetes
- Promotes healthy weight during pregnancy
- Improves overall general fitness and strengthens your body
- Helps you to lose weight after your baby is born
What precautions to take while exercising during pregnancy?
- Drink plenty of water before, during, or after your workout
- Avoid becoming overheated especially during the first trimester
- Avoid standing still or lying flat on your back as much as possible. When you lie on your back your, uterus presses on your vein that returns blood to the heart.
What are the warning signs that I should stop exercising?
- Bleeding from vagina
- Shortness of breath before exercise
- Chest pain
- Muscle weakness
- Regular, painful contractions of the uterus
- Chest pain
- Fluid gushing from the vagina (4)
3- Management of hypertension in pregnancy
Hypertensive pregnancy disorders complicate 6-8% of pregnancies and cause significant maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Obviously, high blood pressure and pregnancy are not the dangerous conditions, but it requires close monitoring.
What are the types of high blood pressure during pregnancy?
- Gestational hypertension: This blood pressure develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. There is no excess protein in the urine.
- Chronic hypertension: It is present before pregnancy. It is hard to determine when it happens.
- Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: This condition occurs in women with chronic hypertension before pregnancy who develop worsening high blood pressure and protein in the urine or other blood pressure-related complications during pregnancy.
Why is high blood pressure a problem during pregnancy?
High blood pressure during pregnancy poses various risks:
- Decreased blood flow to the placenta
- Placental abruption
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Injury to other organs
- Premature delivery
- Future cardiovascular disease (5)
4-What type of foods to eat during pregnancy?
Pregnancy daily dozen in a nutshell:
pregnancy daily dozen serves up all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients, you and baby need. 12 easy food groups are:
- Calories– 300 to 500 extra days depending on the trimester
- Proteins- 3 servings daily
- Calcium- 4 servings daily
- Fluids- Atleast 8-10 glasses daily
- Vitamin C– 3 servings daily
- Vitamin A- 3 to 4 servings daily
- Fruits or vegetable– 1 to servings daily
- Whole grains or legumes– 6 or more servings daily
- Iron-rich foods- Some daily
- Fat and high foods- Some daily
- Omega 3 fatty acids- Some daily
- Prenatal vitamin- A pregnancy formula taken daily (6)
Foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Unpasteurized milk and foods
- Raw and undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat. Don’t eat sushi made with raw food.
- Refrigerated and meat spreads
- Refrigerated and smoked seafood (7)