Pregnancy Exercises for Surrogates
Although pregnancy is a time when a Surrogate needs to lay back and keep her stress at a minimum, it is still important for her to remain physically active. Pregnancy exercises lower back pain, promote cardiovascular health, and can even reduce the amount of time you spend in the delivery room. Aside from the biophysical benefits, exercise can help you stay emotionally and physically fit. It may also help lower your stress level and maintain your mental health.
As a Surrogate Mother, you can gain many benefits by exercising – and it is crucial to remain at your best performance throughout the course of pregnancy. However, the intensity of your exercise should depend on your fitness level you maintained before pregnancy. So, it is crucial to speak with your obstetrician to know whether your workouts are “okay” and safe during pregnancy.
In the following discussion, we will take a look at the pregnancy exercise benefits and what things Surrogates should be aware of regarding their workout regime.
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Safe, simple exercises for Surrogates during pregnancy
It should be moderate
The question is,
“What level of exercise is moderate?”
It’s clear that the level of moderate exercise for a marathon runner will be different from that of someone who takes brisk walks or hikes once or twice a week. Below are the important things to note when determining the level of exercise that is moderate for you.
- Focus on shorter, more frequent workout sessions
- Low impact exercises like yoga or walking are your best options
- Avoid getting exhausted
- If you think you are doing too much, you probably are
- You should be able to maintain conversations while performing moderate exercise
Walking is a great workout anytime, any day – especially when you are pregnant. One of the things that make walking a good choice for pregnant women is that it’s applicable to our daily lives.
You can just walk around the neighborhood or hike in the woods after a day’s work. You may not have much time and need to incorporate short walks into your everyday schedule, like walking around a mall in your area or going to the grocery store.
If you like, you can increase your pace on days you feel extremely good to get more benefits out of your workout. A short walk will exercise your lungs and heart without jarring the joints. When you feel less lively and lethargic, you can reduce your walking pace and still walk the steps.
If you are a member of a surrogacy support group or have family and friends that are willing to exercise, you can set up a group walk to get them up and outside their home when you are pregnant.
Swimming is another excellent exercise to consider during pregnancy. Apart from the heart benefits, the feeling of being weightless in water can ease the discomforts pregnant women experience in the second and last trimesters of pregnancy. Swimming can also help relieve symptoms like backaches, hip pain, and swollen feet or ankles.
Besides, it can reduce physical stress and help alleviate discomfort caused by overheating. So, you may want to get a few laps in if you happen to be a Surrogate in the summer.
Prenatal yoga is another good choice for expectant Surrogates. You don’t need to be proficient in yoga to do this simple exercise and enjoy the benefits.
Prenatal yoga classes are suited for all pregnant women of all skill levels. No matter whether you were an expert in yoga before being matched with your hopeful parents or a complete newbie, a prenatal yoga class can be very beneficial to you.
One good benefit of prenatal yoga is the careful attention paid to individual discomforts and aches. Yoga instructors usually ask expectant mothers what discomforts they are feeling and include stretches or moves to help relieve these discomforts in the class.
You may even continue doing the yoga poses at home to enjoy the benefits on days you are experiencing discomforts and desire some good stretching.
Pilate exercises aim to strengthen your core, making it a perfectly safe pregnancy workout that can prepare you for labor. Moreover, improving your core strength can relieve back pain, increase your flexibility, and help you keep your posture as your stomach protrudes.
We suggest you look for a prenatal Pilates class or ask an instructor to customize the exercises for you to ensure you don’t injure yourself or place unnecessary stress on the baby.
Exercises you need to avoid
Although exercise can be very beneficial to expectant Surrogates, it is important to only perform workouts that are considered safe or those recommended by your doctor. Below are a few safety tips to consider when working out during pregnancy:
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after workouts
- Put on supportive clothing like a sports bra, belly band, etc.
- Get the green light from your doctor if you are not used to exercising or are suffering from a medical condition that can contraindicate exercise.
- Avoid getting overheated, especially if you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy.
- Don’t engage in contact sports or hot yoga
- Don’t lie flat on your back for too long during the last trimester
Try to avoid any highly demanding exercise when you are pregnant. Exercises such as heavy weightlifting and intense cardio workouts are not advised.
As a pregnant Surrogate, make sure to avoid any movements that can make you lose your balance and increase your odds of falling or causing harm to the baby. So, select your workouts wisely and consult your doctor whenever you are in doubt.
As far as you keep to simple, pregnancy-safe exercises, you will enjoy huge benefits from keeping fit throughout your pregnancy.
Advantages of working out
When pregnant with another person’s baby, you are likely to take things easy and more cautiously, and that is exactly how you are expected to behave. But at Physician Surrogacy, we do have Surrogate moms who are accustomed to working out and being active. Actually, it is recommended that you do moderately intense activities while pregnant as long as it is appropriate and healthy for your pregnancy. Not only can it relieve some side effects of pregnancy, but it can also help you feel better when pregnant.
Pregnancy may be a difficult time to embark on an exercise regimen, especially if the woman is not used to working out. But with so many changes occurring in your body, it is actually a good time to begin. You just need to make sure you take things slow and pay attention to your body.
As per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), doing exercise when you are pregnant can reduce the incidence of:
- premature birth
- c-section delivery
- lower birth weight
- excessive weight gain
- gestational diabetes or hypertensive conditions like preeclampsia
Below are some of the benefits Surrogates can enjoy by exercising while pregnant:
1. Exercise reduces pregnancy complications
While some women enjoy being pregnant, there are some side effects that can make pregnancy a difficult experience. Exercising during pregnancy can lower the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and other issues that may arise. It will also reduce the chances of preterm birth, excessive weight gain, and fetal distress.
Aside from helping prevent health complications, exercise can also alleviate the pains and aches associated with pregnancy. Less movement, extra weight, and swelling joints can cause pain when you are pregnant.
A lot of women experience pains and aches during their pregnancy. Low-intensity exercise like swimming or a short walk after dinner can help ease the pain. Water aerobics is also an excellent way to work out, particularly in the third trimester. Yoga, body stretching, and weight exercises can make you feel more flexible.
2. You may have an easier labor
Although a lot of Surrogates really love being pregnant, only a few will say they enjoy the delivery part of pregnancy. This may be because of the excruciating pain experienced during labor. The great news is – exercise can also assist with this: Your muscles gain more strength when you exercise, which can help make labor easier. So, it helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles as well as leg muscles when you are expecting a baby.
3. Exercise can lower your risk of having a cesarean section
Your strength and conditioning improve when you exercise, and this can help ensure a successful vaginal birth. Women who are able to push tend to give birth naturally without a Cesarean operation. Although this has not been proven, many doctors have established a link between exercising during pregnancy and having a successful vaginal delivery.
4. Exercise can help alleviate stress
A lot of things occur to your body when you are pregnant. Although you will be catered for and pampered as a pregnant Surrogate, you may still become stressed due to your fluctuating hormones. Exercise can lead to the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) that will help ease your stress. The best thing is, it can help relieve the two types of stress: emotional and physical stress.
Once you get your doctor’s approval, it is advised that you begin to exercise however you are comfortable with. There are different ways you can do your exercise: walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, stationary biking, hiking, tennis, Pilates, water aerobics, or strength training. Remember to stay away from contact sports or any activity that can make you fall on your belly.
Resuming exercise after a surrogacy birth
A lot of Surrogates would like to return to their pre-pregnancy body as soon as they give birth. Although most women lose half of the baby weight naturally within six weeks after delivery, it can take months or even more than one year before shedding the remaining excess weight.
There is also an issue of lost energy and muscle tone, which new mothers and Surrogates would like to gain back. Fortunately, there is an effective way to lose the pound and feel revived, and that’s through exercise. But there are certain things you should bear in mind before taking on any exercise routine post-delivery. Below is a guide to resume exercise after giving birth as a Surrogate.
Pre-pregnancy fitness is important
Women who wish to become Surrogates not only need to eat healthily but also need to exercise moderately and regularly. This is because being fit can make you feel your best when pregnant and help you lose weight more quickly after delivery. Note that although you can keep exercising once you are pregnant, it is important to get a go-ahead from your doctor to prevent complications. Also, try to take safety measures when exercising to save yourself from illnesses, and one excellent way to achieve this is by practicing simple hygiene prior to and after exercise.
Always ensure that your exercise equipment is well sanitized to prevent illnesses when you are pregnant. Research shows that gym equipment usually harbors bacteria and germs that can cause a wide range of health issues, including the common cold and Escherichia Coli (E. coli). Escherichia Coli can be especially harmful to expectant mothers and the unborn baby. For this reason, make sure to clean your gym equipment with natural or organic cleansers to remain healthy. If you go to a public gym, ensure that you clean any equipment with disinfectants before using them to protect your health and the unborn child’s wellbeing.
Take things easy
Take your time before embarking on an exercise regimen post-delivery. Experts advise that new mothers need to wait till the postnatal checkup before doing any kind of exercise. So, the right time to start working out is around six to eight weeks following childbirth.
When it is time, begin with simple stretching exercises and brisk walking. Then proceed to other forms of cardio workouts like swimming or running, provided you don’t experience any pain or bleeding. When you get used to exercising again, you can then follow a diet and exercise plan to effectively shed weight.
Get rid of the belly fat
If you are finding it difficult to lose abdominal fat, there are certain workouts that can help flatten your belly and give you a well-defined waistline. Pilates and yoga are two highly effective, low-intensity workouts that can help you reduce the unwanted, jiggly flab. These exercises can also help you gain back your strength and keep you mentally fit. So, consider doing Pilates or Yoga sessions four times per week (at least) for excellent results. Abdominal workouts, such as crunches and sit-ups, can also help tone your stomach.
Note: it is best to combine these workouts with other cardio exercises like jogging and swimming for whole-body fitness.
Returning to your pre-baby body may be your number one priority after giving birth as a Surrogate. However, you need to take things easy, especially in the first couple of weeks following delivery. Focus on regaining your lost strength and flexibility during exercise and go for workouts that you like, so you can keep doing regularly. All your hard work will soon pay off, so start moving and resume your workout regime as soon as you can.
Are you ready to become a Surrogate?
Becoming a Surrogate is one of the most fulfilling, life-changing experiences a woman can ever have. It is a wonderful experience where you pay attention to yourself and your overall health as you assist another person in their family-building journey. One good way to take care of yourself is through exercise.
The best way to learn more about surrogacy and becoming a Surrogate is to fill out a form with us. We will get in touch within 72 hours and answer any and all of your questions.
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