All Posts tagged Best OBGyn groups WNY

Exercise Tips for Pregnant Women

Pregnant woman standing next to exercise bikeEven if you didn’t have an established exercise routine, moms-to-be should begin incorporating activity into your lifestyle. Staying active and healthy is not only great for the moms, but also for the baby. Below are the best exercises to preform while pregnant.

Walking, yes, walking!

The benefits of walking are underrated. While it’s a monotonous part of everyday life, walking represents an easy way to begin a healthy routine. A main benefit is that it’s easy and free! No gym membership, expensive equipment, or gear required.

How much? Start off by shooting for a minimum of 15-20 continuous minutes per day, while working up to 30-45 minutes per day. With the endless variety of step counter apps and products, it’s easy to monitor your pace and distance.

New to walking? If so, aim to walk one mile per day for the first couple weeks, then increase to 1.5 miles per day to reach approximately 30 minutes total. It’s best to perform all 30 minutes at once, but many studies point to a minimum of 10 minutes at a time to see improved health. So, splitting it up into three 10-minute sessions throughout your day will also work! Take advantage of 15-minute breaks at work and go out for a stroll around your office.

Is it safe? Yes, walking is low-impact and safe for nearly everyone! Be sure to have proper footwear and plenty of water.


Young pregnant woman in swimming poolSwimming and Water Aerobics

Water sports are great because the water eases impact and soothes the body. Some prior knowledge of swimming is helpful to get started. Prenatal water exercises build core strength and contribute to an overall active lifestyle.

How much? It’s best to hit the water at least three times per week for 30 minutes to see and feel increased health benefits. Once you get going, five 30-minute sessions per week is ideal.

New to swimming? Join a gym with swim classes or find a personal coach. It might be fun to practice in prenatal groups with professionals to guide you.

Is it safe? Yes, swimming is a low-impact exercise that is safe during the prenatal and first-trimester periods. Be safe and swim with others!


Yoga

If you are looking to find a mind/body balance, yoga is the answer. By focusing on combining aspects of stretching, aerobic-type exercises, and deep breathing, yoga can help reset and quiet your mind, while toning your body.

How much? Most studio yoga classes are 60-75 minutes, so three times a week should be plenty. If you are an experienced yogi, practicing at home at home is an option as well. Look online for free videos in the 30-minute range. Aiming for 30 minutes per day would be most beneficial.

New to yoga? Until you’ve mastered the basic moves, it’s recommended to start at a studio where instructors can help fix and guide your alignment in poses. Once you are experienced, it’s inexpensive and easy to practice at home. All you need is access to a TV or computer and a yoga mat. If you have limited flexibility, consider investing in two yoga blocks and a strap to help make poses accessible.

Is it safe? Yes, but keep in mind not all poses will be accessible to you during pregnancy. Avoid backbends, twits, and headstands. Hot yoga is also not recommended. Many gyms offer, or even specialize in, prenatal and pregnancy-focused classes. And many teachers can give you modified poses if they are aware that you are pregnant.


Stationary Bikes/Cycling

If you are looking for a cardio fix to keep the blood pumping, consider a stationary bike or spin-class gym membership. While bicycles are a low-impact exercise, it’s recommended to limit riding to stationary bikes during pregnancy due the dangers of the open road.

How much? If you own a stationary bike, try for 30 minutes per day to remain active and healthy. However, if you plan to hit spin classes or open gym time, three sessions are ideal.

New to cycling? It’s never too late to learn how to ride a bike, especially a stationary bike. Just hop on and start peddling. Consider investing in a stationary bike, as it’s typically a less expensive long-term investment than a gym membership. If you are on a budget, check garage sales and online for-sale websites to find a used model. Owning your own bike will save the time and effort it takes to get yourself to the gym.

Is it safe? Yes, but don’t push yourself too far. Avoid super competitive spin classes; look for prenatal or pregnancy friendly classes when possible. You can always back off if need be and stay seated instead of standing during class. Something to keep in mind—your center of gravity can shift during pregnancy, so take it slow and be safe.


Overall Tips for Exercising When Pregnant

Keep in mind, you may be tired or nauseous, so take it easy. Start slow and build up to your desired workout goals.

  • Stay hydrated. You and your baby need fluids, so fill up the large water bottle before you head out.
  • Wear the correct footwear or attire to stay safe. While swimming and yoga are practiced barefoot, cycling and walking require proper athletic shoes.
  • Don’t be scared to ask an expert. Lack of experience is no reason to be sedentary during pregnancy. Look for a pregnant-friendly gym or yoga studio and find qualified instructors to help you get fit. Odds are you’ll also meet like-minded woman and make some friends.
  • Talk to your doctor. Above all else, when in doubt, consult your doctor.
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Prenatal Care in the Third Trimester

prenatal care third trimesterWhat to Expect, and Why It’s Important

You’re finally entering your third trimester. That means that baby’s arrival is getting close, and you’re about to begin what may be the most physically challenging time of your pregnancy as your baby reaches its full pre-birth size. You can expect just as much support from your OBGYN as you’ve received in your first and second trimester. He or she will work closely with you to help you prepare for the birth of your baby in these critical final weeks. Here’s what you should expect from weeks 28 through 40.

More Frequent OBGYN Visits
During your last trimester, you’ll be meeting with your OBGYN more frequently. You will have a prenatal visit every two weeks up until week 36, and then you’ll be meeting with your OBGYN weekly. Consider bringing your partner or labor coach with you during your third trimester doctor visits. You can expect regular weight checks, blood pressure checks, and urine checks that will test for protein in the urine. He or she will also continue to monitor baby’s heartbeat and activity, and may also perform pelvic exams to determine if your cervix is beginning to dilate.

Baby’s Movement
Pay attention to how much movement you feel from your baby, and keep your doctor informed if you observe anything concerning or any significant changes. In your third trimester, you should be noticing that baby will have very active periods, and times when he or she is not active at all — both of which are normal and expected. If baby suddenly seems to be less active, eat a snack and then lie down for a few minutes. If you still don’t detect much movement, call your OBGYN to describe what you’ve observed.

Screening Tests, Lab Tests, and Ultrasounds
You will likely receive a screening test during your third trimester for group B streptococcus (GBS), a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract that can cause complications to a newborn if the baby is infected during a vaginal delivery.

Your OBGYN may order additional testing during your last trimester if you:

Pelvic Exam
As you progress through your third trimester, your doctor may complete a pelvic exam to identify any cervical changes. Before baby arrives, your cervix will begin to soften, dilate, and thin (efface), changes that are typically measured in centimeters and percentages. Once you reach 10 centimeters dilated and 100 percent effaced, you’re ready to start pushing, which makes monitoring changes to your cervix important.

Fatigue
Expect to feel tired during your last trimester. Much of your energy is being diverted to help support baby’s final growth spirt. Don’t fight the feelings of fatigue. Make sure you are getting enough rest each day. You may want to think about starting to reduce your number of daily activities, and toward the end of your third trimester, you may want to talk to your doctor about cutting back your work hours if applicable.

Nutrition and Exercise
Even though you’re approaching the end of the finish line, you need to stay the course with the diet and exercise plan you’ve created with your doctor. Be sure to eat foods high in protein, and eat small amounts of vegetables regularly. Also, be sure to get some exercise, such as a short walk, each day.

Baby’s Positioning
Toward the end of your last trimester, your OBGYN will begin estimating your baby’s weight and will work to determine his or her position. Your baby should be positioned head first in the uterus. An ultrasound may be ordered to confirm the baby’s position and to determine the level of amniotic fluid around the baby.

When to Call Your OBGYN
If you experience any of the following, call your OBGYN:

  • You have any bleeding.
  • You are experiencing headaches.
  • You notice increased vaginal discharge with odor.
  • You have a fever, chills, or pain with urination.
  • You experience changes to your eyesight or have blind spots in your vision.

It’s also time to call your OBGYN when your water breaks, or if you begin experiencing regular, painful contractions. When this happens, don’t be alarmed. Baby is just preparing for his or her grand entrance.


Did you miss part 1 and 2 of our prenatal care series? If so, please check out the links below…

Prenatal Care in Your First Trimester
Prenatal Care in Your Second Trimester

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