Guidelines for Active Pregnant Women

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While there's little shortage of thrilling anecdotal bites about women who stay active during pregnancy, like Erica Lineberry who climbed 5.11s at 9 months pregnant, what do the professionals recommend? What kinds of exercise and activities are not recommended for pregnant women? Which ones are safe?

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology has few suggestions in their two-page report posted in August of 2011. The primary safe exercises suggested by the ACOG are walking, swimming, cycling and running - this last one comes with the caveat "if you were a runner before you became pregnant."

They say exercising at least 30 minutes a day while pregnant comes with a number of benefits such as improving your ability to cope with labor, and making it easier to get back into shape after delivery. But there's also the boost to your energy, mood, and the reduction of aches, bloating and swelling and more. In short, and like the age-old advice says, you can continue doing most activities you did before getting pregnant.

The ACOG does have a short list of do-nots. Like downhill skiing. Speaking of, Caroline George, professional mountaineer and IFMGA/UIAGM certified guide created a little internet ruckus with a photo of her backcountry ski touring at 38 weeks. Then again, it's Caroline George. Mountaineering and skiing are practically native to her. She says, "I don't take more risk than I do when driving my car. Actually, it's way less risky, because I go slow, pick what I ski and how I ski."

You can see ACOG two-page FAQ on exercise during pregnancy, complete with some tips and warning signs to watch out for, in this quick PDF.

 

Gracias to Carrie Cooper

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