Exercise during pregnancy is safe and beneficial for both mother and baby. But there can be inherent risks.
While exercise is a safe for most pregnant women, there are some risks to take note.
The adrenaline hormone stimulated during exercise can induce womb contractions, although the actual risk has not been fully studied. Exercise also causes blood to gush to skeletal muscles and reduces oxygen and nutrients to baby.
The growing baby receives oxygen and nutrients through the placenta. Risk during exercise in pregnancy is when exercise increases blood flow to the working muscles. Blood flow to the placenta may be compromised at high intensity exercise and especially during dehydration.
There are 5 potential concerns why exercise during pregnancy can be risky:
#1 Premature contractions stimulated by exercise
#2 Increased glucose consumption from working muscles
#3 Exercise diverts blood to skeletal muscle and there is a significant reduction in oxygen and nutrient delivery
#4 Overheating will challenge maternal thermoregulation and is best avoided, especially in the first trimester
#5 Vaginal bleeding may occur with heavy weight-lifting which is a no-no
Pregnant women should seek exercise advice from their doctor to ensure they are not over doing it. And always listen to your body.