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High-Level Physical Activity And Labour During Pregnancy

Aug 17, 2007
There are many opinions floating around on the level of physical activity that's acceptable for a pregnant woman. Many people still feel that rest is what you need the most, and while this is true, you may end up feeling restricted and caged at the self-imposed break from your favorite activities.

Certainly, you do want to be responsible about the choices you make regarding getting exercise or continuing to indulge in a sport or working at a job that's more physical than others. Women often end up questioning what's right or risky to partake in, and they wonder if they should give up physical activities.

The answer is both yes and no. Getting physical exercise is healthy for you and your baby, so reducing your levels to couch-potato status does neither you nor your child any good, and you may not be able to take leave from a strenuous job. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some activities that you should not perform if you know you are pregnant, as the risk of danger to yourself and your baby is high.

Judging whether you should take a break from an activity is something that requires common sense, and also depends on your evaluation of the situation. Creating a blanket restriction on exercise or physical labor isn't really a good answer, as this choice can leave you not only out of shape for the upcoming birth, but also feeling frustrated and resentful.

People are far more active today than a few years ago and being involved in sports or seeing females in what used to be considered an all-male job is common. That does mean that there are employment positions that demand more physical labor and pregnant women should look at the effort of each task with their employer or a professional consultant.

Today's way of living has left a lot of grey areas as to what's considered safe and what's considered a risk to your baby, but the truth is, women can do far more than simply going home to rest. While some tasks may be too risky to perform or need to be reduced to an acceptable level, there are plenty of jobs with physical elements that are just fine to continue with as long as you feel able.

While it's true that the ultimate decision of continuing or taking a break from physical activities is your own, what's important is that you be responsible enough to consider that you're taking that decision for two people: You and your baby.

To help you make your choice about what's safe and what isn't, inform yourself via the internet or by asking your doctor which activities you should stop while you're pregnant and which are acceptable to continue.

In the meantime, do use common sense. For example, if you've been lifting heavy weights at work, reduce the number of pounds you have to lift. If you're avid in sports, make sure the ones you choose are low-impact and not prone to the risk of falling.
About the Author
Andi Michaels owns and writes regularly for Pregnancy And Family Planning where you can find more information and advice on all aspects of pregnancy . Go to How to Stay Healthy for information and advice on staying healthy generally
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