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Why ‘sit-ups’ is not a good idea for women who are pregnant

During pregnancy, most women develop a split in their abdominal muscles. Sit-ups increase the abdominal pressure and encourage the split between the abdominal muscles, making the recovery of these muscles after childbirth slower and problematic.

Sit ups do NOT strengthen the core stabilisers. It does NOT work the core stabilisers, the transversus abdominus and multifidus. These muscles need to be trained to help with the recovery of the split in the abdominal muscles.

Sit ups is a dynamic exercise, specifically training the prime movers which often inhibits the activity of the core stabilisers from working. Without the strong base of core stability, sit ups can cause back pain, as it puts extra pressure on the discs of the lower back. It also increases the risk of injuring the discs and causing long term lower back pain.

Exercise Myth Busted

Exercise Myth Busted

“You Shouldn’t Exercise While Pregnant”

Many women are afraid of exercising whilst pregnant, however it is highly dependent on what type of exercises you choose to do.

For example it is very important to maintain the strength and stability of your joints especially your pelvis. During pregnancy the ligaments that support your pelvis become more relaxed, which means you are more dependent on your muscles for stability.

If you have weak muscles you are at risk of back and pelvic pain. Maintaining the strength of the muscles that support the joints will reduce the pain and support your pelvis during labour.

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy

There are many other benefits of taking part in a specific exercise program designed for you and your body’s needs such as:

• Improved strength of your back and gluteal (buttocks) muscles which can help manage back pain as your baby grows
• Improved posture
• Improved core and pelvic floor control
• Improved circulation
• Weight management
• Improved sleep and stress relief
• Prepares your body for labour
• Recover from labour faster = faster return to pre-pregnancy fitness and a healthy weight

All of the above positive outcomes will allow your pregnancy to be a much smoother process for you and your baby.

Exercises that are safe during pregnancy:

• Pilates – core and pelvic floor strength and stability
• Specifically chosen resistance exercises for increasing your strength
• Walking
• Swimming

Exercises to avoid:

• Running
• Cycling
• Contact sports
• After approximately 16 weeks you should avoid exercises lying on your back due to the risk of your baby slowing the return of blood to your heart. Exercises in side lying, standing or sitting are fine.
• Jumping or activities that risk falling such as skiing or horse riding

Recommendations for you:

We recommend that before you decide to exercise whilst pregnant you must speak to a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist to design a program specific for you. That way you know that the exercises you are doing are safe and will benefit you and your baby!
Please share this article with your expecting friends or contact MD Health on 03 9857 0644 for a FREE Full Body Assessment. We would be happy to help design a program for you!

Article written by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health

Sunlight is important for Pregnant mothers

Sunlight is important for Pregnant mothers

Can the amount of sunlight you get when you’re pregnant effect the health of your baby? It looks like the answer is yes.

Vitamin D is a vitamin we produce in our skin that effects the amount of calcium the body absorbs and is important of bone growth and development.

The primary status of vitamin D for the child during pregnancy and during breast feeding, is the mother’s vitamin D status. Poor vitamin D levels in children can lead to reduced growth, reduced long term bone density, important to prevent the development of osteoporosis later in life and in cases of severe deficiency a problem called rickets. This is when the bones begin to bow as the bony skeleton does not form properly and the bones do not harden the way they should.

Other extremely important implications of poor vitamin D status are in your child’s early stages of life. Normal vitamin D levels in the first year of life means an 80% reduction in the risk of developing type 1 diabetes and a 40% reduction in development of rheumatoid arthritis later in life, to name just two.

What do you do?

Firstly, make sure you when you’re pregnant and when you are breastfeeding, you and your child get some sunlight during the day. This does not mean staying outside all day, as you do not want to increase your risk of skin cancer, but just 10 minutes of an exposed arm or leg in sunlight between 10am and 3pm a day. Or, speak to your doctor about getting a blood test to check your vitamin D status and they can help you work out the best options to get your vitamin D status normal.

Written by Michael Dermansky, Senior Physiotherapist at MD Health

Take the first step to a healthier you!

Our Pregilates program will increase all over body strength making you better prepared for this strenuous time.

Contact us today to book a free, 1-hour session with an experienced MD Health physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

This helps us identify your current strengths and weaknesses, and to get an understanding of what your goals for the program are.

Take the first step

Benefits of Pregilates

  • Every session is supervised and controlled by our Physios and Exercise Physiologists so you and your baby are safe.
  • You can exercise all the way up to 40 weeks!
  • Increased muscle tone – easier to get back into shape after birth
  • Increased muscle strength – better able to support your pregnancy, less back pain!
  • Easier labour – there’s no such thing as easy labour but anything that can help with labour pains is a bonus!

Our Pregilates program will increase all over body strength making you better prepared for this strenuous time.