If you’re the type of woman that enjoys working out with others and learning in a class environment, then you may enjoy taking an exercise class during pregnancy. Not just any class will do though. You need something that will ensure you get the right amount of exercise to keep healthy during your pregnancy, but won’t harm your body or your baby.

When you’re browsing for the perfect class, keep some of these tips in mind. You may have to ask the instructor yourself to ensure that the exercises are suitable for pregnancy if the class isn’t already designed with pregnant women in mind.

Along with other considerations, does the class have an appropriate warm up period where your body can adjust to the movement and get comfortable before jumping into the exercise? A warm-up period will help your body limber up, which is important at any time in your life, but is especially important during pregnancy.

Does the Instructor Know How to Exercise during Pregnancy?

If you choose a workout class especially for pregnancy, your instructor probably knows how much your body can take and will advise you on what types of movements and exercise you should do. However, if you choose something like yoga, Pilates, or Zumba, ask your instructor if they have ever worked with pregnant women before. That way they can tell you if some of the movements aren’t appropriate for pregnant women.

An example of unsuitable movement is bouncing, which increases the chances of overstretching the uterine ligaments. Another example is severe stretching. This should be avoided because the ligaments in your body loosen during pregnancy and make your joints less stable. If your instructor isn’t aware of this, they may think that you’re perfectly fine to do exercises that may damage your body.

Short Bursts of Cardiovascular and Aerobic Exercise
If you choose a class with lots of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, you need to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t last longer than 20 minutes. Any longer and you may be at risk of exhaustion, even though you may not feel like it. Remember, if you’re breathing too heavily to talk and you feel dizzy or feel pain in your lower back and abdomen, you’re working out too strenuously.

These are just some of the things you should consider when you’re looking for an exercise class during pregnancy. The best solution is to find a class specifically for pregnant women, but if you can’t find one, ask your doctor about what types of exercise you can safely do and remember not to push your body too hard.

Source: Eden, E. (n.d.). Choosing a pregnancy exercise class. Discovery Fit and Health.