Playing Sports During the Various Stages of Pregnancy
When you suspect you’re pregnant, you want to make an appointment with an obstetrician for a complete exam. He or she can evaluate any risk factors or complications you may face and advise you if there are activities, food, or medications you need to avoid.
If your doctor has cleared you as being without complications or risk factors, it’s still good to consider what activities are safe during pregnancy. During your first trimester, there are few restrictions as to physical activity for most women. You can typically jog, swim, do aerobics, and play just about any sport that doesn’t involve physical contact or activities that are too jarring.
During your second trimester, it’s good to cut out activities that may cause impact as this can be jarring to the growing fetus, and may also cause stress on your own back and joints due to your extra weight. This means toning down the jogging and aerobics. Non-impact sports may include cycling, swimming, using an elliptical machine, Pilates, and yoga designed for expectant mothers.
In your last trimester, your body will be carrying quite a bit of extra weight and your girth will be noticeable. Swimming the backstroke is a good form of exercise since the buoyancy of the water will keep your belly afloat. Bike riding may put undue stress on your back, so try a recumbent or upright exercise bike in the gym. An elliptical machine may still work for you as will Pilates and yoga routines, although these should be designed for women who are expecting.
At all times when pregnant, avoid very risky sports such as fencing, kickboxing, horseback riding, or any type of contact sport. This is for the safety of the growing fetus but also means safety for your body as well.