20th March 2018

Searching for answers about pregnancy exercise in the first trimester is really common.

You will be among lots of mums to be trawling the internet for words of wisdom on this subject.

Finding out you’re having a baby is amazing.

Finding out that your plans for exercise during pregnancy might not go as smoothly as you’d imagined, can be a bit annoying.

Lots of pregnant women embark on the first trimester fully hoping to continue their physical exercise as normal and that’s brilliant – we’re all for that.

But there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pregnancy and exercise and each experience can be very different.

You might be desperate to exercise but your body may just say ‘no’ (for now) while a friend could be going to all of her usual classes and not feeling any different at all.

The secret to approaching exercise in the first three months is to listen to your body.

Do what you feel like – and don’t worry if all you feel like doing is sleeping.

Early pregnancy can be a roller coaster, physically and emotionally, so we advocate not putting any extra pressure on yourself.

It’s OK to take it easy.

You might have nausea – anything from mild to extreme sickness and any of these levels would understandably put you off exercise. See your gp or midwife if sickness becomes severe and know that it’s fine to put exercise to the back of your mind until it passes. If you are suffering, allow yourself the time to sit and let it pass. Try ginger, mint tea and keep hyrdrated.

If the nausea is only at certain times of the day, or is unpredicatable, think about making walking part of your day and work it around the feelings of sickness. But remember this can be as simple as building it in to your day, whether you’re walking to the shops, you’re out with a toddler or you hop off the bus a stop or two early. Don’t put yourself under pressure to do lots of walking you wouldn’t do otherwise.

Sheer exhuastion can really knock your exercise plans off track too. It’s quite normal to feel very tired in the first trimester, in some cases it can be debilitating. The best thing for it is to sleep. It’s your body’s way of telling you it’s working hard at another job right now so doesn’t have much energy for anything else. Go with it, rest as much as you can and think about exercsie again when you move into the second trimester.

Or, look to a gentle exercise activity with a relaxing element such as a quiet swim at a time when the pool won’t be too busy, or a pre natal specific exercise class where the instructors will be minful of how you might be feeling.

Worry and anxiety around the subject of pregnancy exercise can be enough in its self to halt your workouts in their tracks. If you’re not sure what you can and can’t do then it’s understandable if you end up in a position of doing nothing. If you’re happy with that, then so are we but we’re keen to let you know you shouldn’t worry. Exercise can help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, will help build your strength for labour and contribute to a healthy pregnancy. If you’re healthy and feeling fine there’s no reason to not enjoy working out.

The main thing is to listen to your body, talk to your GP or midwife if anything doesn’t feel right and chat to those professionals or a pre natal trainer about your routine or anything that you’re worried about in the early days.

Go with how you feel and you shouldn’t go too far wrong. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help and advice so that you can enjoy your pregnancy journey to the full.

By Penny Stretton

pregnant exercise - Jelly Belly PT