The Sunday News
In addition to your doctor’s recommendations
– Eat a small, easily digestible snack (such as crackers) prior to exercise.
– Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
– Wear loose comfortable clothes, preferably cotton to help absorb perspiration.
– Wear a supportive cotton bra with wide straps.
Give your body time to heal after the birth regardless of whether the birth was vaginal or doctors say you can resume exercise after four to six weeks, others say when bleeding you receive clearance from your own doctor before returning.
During the first trimester, women can usually perform the same abdominal exercise as non-pregnant exercise. A supine position (lying on the back) is considered safe. Its still best to check with your doctor because understandings change due to ongoing research. In all cases, use common sense and listen to your body.
During second and third trimesters, it is best to limit abdominal work to less than five minutes. Women in the later stages should rest sitting up or lying on their left side for a few minutes while other class members complete abdominal work. Again, your doctor should issue the guidelines during all phases of pregnancy. Overall, the best exercise for the pregnant exerciser is walking.
Pelvic Tilt (first trimester only)
– Start on the hands and knees.
– Head in alignment with the spine.
– Back straight.
– Contract the abdominals and point the tailbone to the floor.
– Hold for a count of three and release.
– Relieves low backaches and strengthens the abdominals by maintaining proper alignment of the pelvis.
Crunches (up to second trimester)
– Crunches with a pillow support (shoulders elevated above the heart).
Let-backs (up to second trimester):
– Sit with knees bent and hands around the knees for support.
– Contract the abdominals and curl the spine while learning back as far as the arms will allow.
– Alternate with oblique curls using pillow support.
C-Curves (up to third trimester)
– Kneel on the floor on all fours or with elbow on chair seat for support.
– Inhale and contract the abdominals while creating a “C” shape with the spine.
– Exhale and release.
Side C-Curves (up to third trimester)
– Lie on the left side with the upper hand on the floor for support.
– Contract the abdominals and bring the knees to the chest.
– Exhale and release.