In this Article
- Benefits of Playing Sport While Pregnant
- Why Is it Important to Be Extra Careful While Playing Sports in Pregnancy?
- Medical Conditions That May Affect Pregnant Woman While Playing Sports
- Sport and Fitness Level during Pregnancy
- Which Sport to Avoid while Pregnant?
- Sports and Stages of Pregnancy
- Which Sport Is Recommended for Pregnant Women?
Playing a sport is beneficial for all. You can even play sports during pregnancy, provided you choose a sport considering your health status. Participating in light sports will prove to be good during pregnancy, however, it is suggested that you seek your doctor’s approval before engaging in any sport or physical activity.
Benefits of Playing Sport While Pregnant
Sports can do a lot of good for your health. Here are some benefits of playing sports during pregnancy.
- Engaging in sports activities can prevent you from gaining excess weight.
- It decreases the risk of gestational diabetes.
- It reduces the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.
- Playing sports can help reduce stress, anxiety and morning sickness.
- Engaging in sports activities also improves mood, sleep, image, and self-esteem.
- Sports help increase energy levels and blood circulation.
- It reduces constipation and bloating.
- It helps reduce the incidences of lower back pain.
- It reduces labour time.
Why Is it Important to Be Extra Careful While Playing Sports in Pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings in hormonal and bodily changes that interfere with your ability to engage in certain activities and sports. As your bump grows, the centre of gravity for your body changes and the ligaments in your pelvic area begin to loosen up. These impose the risk of fall and injury if met with jerks. Therefore, you should cautiously choose a sport that does not harm you and your baby.
Medical Conditions That May Affect Pregnant Woman While Playing Sports
It is best to consult your gynaecologist before playing any sport. There is no harm in playing sports to maintain your fitness during pregnancy. However, you should be aware of the possible consequences that may affect you depending on your health and pregnancy. You should refrain from undergoing physical strain in the following situations mentioned below.
- If you have bone and joint problems.
- If you have pregnancy-related issues like incompetent cervix, placenta previa or hypertension.
- If you are carrying twins or triplets.
- If you have problems related to the heart, lungs, or liver.
- If you are anaemic, underweight, or obese.
Sport and Fitness Level during Pregnancy
The fitness level to follow during pregnancy depends on your physical activity before conceiving. If you are usually an active person and have a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, you may continue with your sport. But remember to not get too worked up. And if you are a laid-back person who has been inactive and wants to start new, it’s better to take it slow and go for an easy sport. It is recommended that you start with 15 minutes per session and gradually build up to 30 minutes of your game.
Which Sport to Avoid while Pregnant?
You should avoid any high-impact sport that has heightened the risk of falling or collision and the below-stated risks.
1. Sports Involving the Risk of Falling and Hitting Your Womb
Do not participate or play sports which are risky. Sports in which you can fall flat on your stomach or cause you to be hit on your bump should be avoided at all costs. Some of the sports include downhill skiing, football, basketball, rugby, and squash.
2. High Altitudes or Diving Sports
High altitudes or diving sports are not recommended for you as these can put your baby at risk and make you ill because of the changes in oxygen levels. These include scuba diving and mountaineering.
3. Involves lots of Jumping or Bouncing
Sports that involve lots of bouncing movements are considered unsafe and should be avoided, like horse riding, surfing, volleyball, and similar.
4. Involves Sudden Twists and Turns of Your Body
Certain sports such as ice hockey, tennis, kickboxing require sudden shifts in your body positions. These jerks can have a negative impact on your loosened ligaments and hence, should be avoided.
Sports and Stages of Pregnancy
You should select your sport depending on how healthy your pregnancy is. Besides, you may need to alter your sports regime as your pregnancy advances, to meet with the demands of your pregnant body.
1. First Trimester
You must consider playing specific sports during the first trimester of pregnancy to prevent your body from overheating. Apart from that keep the following things in mind.
- Avoid playing in hot & humid temperature.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes.
- Drink water to keep hydrated.
2. Second and Third Trimester
In the second and third trimester of your pregnancy, following are the things you should bear in mind while playing sports.
- As your weight increases in these trimesters, it will make you vulnerable to lose your balance, so as a precautionary measure you should stop playing if you feel unsteady.
- Your ligaments may also loosen, increasing the risk of ligament injury. As a precaution, avoid activities involving heavy weights, sudden movements, twists and turns.
- Your blood pressure will also lower so move slowly to avoid dizziness.
Which Sport Is Recommended for Pregnant Women?
Water activities such as swimming and water aerobics are safe and fun during pregnancy. It’s the best pregnancy sport as it won’t make you fall, and all your muscles get worked out with no risk of overheating your body. It will even help in alleviating the symptoms of back pain and swelling in the leg. Activities that take the below points into consideration can be observed as safe sports during pregnancy.
- Games or sports that have a minimal chance of you falling are best during pregnancy.
- Games and sports in which you can stand straight.
- Sports and activities in which your weight is supported and do not put you off-balance.
Playing sports has more benefits than disadvantages during pregnancy. You can consider playing a sport to maintain a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. Make sure to choose the sport that poses minimal risk to your health and pregnancy to avoid future complications. Play safe to avoid any injury, fall or ligament damage, and you can keep strong and fit throughout your pregnancy.
Also Read: Is Running Safe during Pregnancy?