Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?

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Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons pregnant women seek chiropractic care.  Although spinal adjustments are a key part of the treatment plan for those patients, exercise is usually needed as well.  Unfortunately, many pregnant women are told they should not exercise.  A new study published in the British Medical Journal calls into question some long-held ideas about exercise during pregnancy.  The authors of the paper conclude that while the research seems to support avoidance of exercise for so-called absolute contraindications, avoiding exercise for a host of other situations may be unnecessary.  Absolute contraindications include conditions like severe respiratory syndromes, severe heart disease, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes and pre-eclampsia.  Exercise for pregnant women with these conditions create significant risks for mom and baby.  But the researchers found no evidence of risk for women with gestational diabetes, chronic hypertension, recurrent miscarriage, obesity, twin or higher pregnancies  and short cervix.  The authors found that recommendations to avoid exercise in these situations was based much more on opinion than any hard evidence.  It is important to note that the authors emphasize that women should always discuss their own unique situation with their providers.  But the overall message from the study is that many women who may have previously thought exercise was dangerous during pregnancy, may be able to get moving after all!

Meah VLDavies GADavenport MH
Why can’t I exercise during pregnancy? Time to revisit medical ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ contraindications: systematic review of evidence of harm and a call to action
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