From the time you conceive till the birth of the child, your body undergoes different changes. One of the many processes going on is the development of the baby. This is quite a delicate process — the time sperm and egg meet, to the formation of the baby, till its development.
Pregnancy and Ultrasound Scans
Ultrasound scans are performed at different stages of pregnancy to check the health of the baby along with other essential information like growth of the baby, any abnormality, placental position etc. They also help in letting the doctor know if the pregnant woman is carrying a single child or more. Ultrasound scans are tests done with the help of sound waves that provide visual images of the baby along with the placenta, uterus and other organs.
Detection of Baby’s Heartbeat
As every woman is different from another, so is their pregnancy. So, the time of detecting the baby’s heartbeat also varies. But, in general, by the beginning of the sixth week, the heartbeat of the baby is visible by doing an ultrasound scan. At this stage, the heartbeat is just like a flicker on the chest of the baby. However, in some cases, you may not see the heartbeat by the sixth week. But there is nothing to worry about. The normal heart rate of a baby at the beginning is around 90 to 110 beats per 60 seconds.
When the embryonic heartbeat is detected on the sixth week, it indicates that your pregnancy is safe and there is a little chance of miscarriage. In pregnancies, where the embryonic heartbeat is not detected in this period, the mothers-to-be are required to do another scan after 3 to 5 days. As the pregnancy progresses i.e. on the 9th week, the average heartbeat of the foetus would be around 120 to 160 beats per 60 seconds.
Exercising during pregnancy is good for both the mother and the baby. It helps in lessening different kinds of discomforts, pains etc. which occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women can continue with the workouts they have been doing before getting pregnant. However, certain changes should be made with the pre-pregnancy workouts so that you feel comfortable doing the exercises and it doesn’t hurt your baby. It is very essential to seek your doctor’s advice before indulging in any kind of workout during pregnancy.
Reasons for modifying your pre-pregnancy workout during pregnancy:
- Change in Posture: During pregnancy many changes occur in the woman’s body. The weights of the baby, uterus, growing breasts, amniotic fluid etc. are some factors responsible for weight gain. And the increased weight makes your posture change. Your shoulders may be rounded and your hips may be tilted forward. Due to the postural changes, you would suffer from different types of body pain. So, in order to reduce pain during pregnancy, you should focus on workouts that strengthen your core muscles.
- Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles: The weight of the baby, uterus etc. makes your pelvic floor muscles weak. To make your pelvic floor muscles strong, you can indulge in pelvic floor exercises and kegels during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well.
Time to Stop Workouts
Though exercising is good during pregnancy, you should stop doing any form of exercises if you suffer from any of the following and consult your doctor.
- Out of breath before doing exercise
- Bleeding or spotting
- Chest pain, joint pain and stomach pain
- Walking difficulty
- Decrease in the movement of the foetus
- Leakage of amniotic fluid
- Risk of Preterm labour
Workout points to remember during pregnancy
- Avoid lying flat on your back for too long while doing workouts.
- Reduce the intensity and frequency of workouts during the last trimester at your doctor’s recommendation.
- Don’t indulge in uncomfortable jumps and twists during workouts
- Avoid contact sports or workouts which have the possibility of getting you out of balance.
- Avoid workouts that put too much pressure on your abdominal area.
- Workout when the climate is not too hot and humid or in temperature controlled environment.
- Wear comfortable clothes and good supportive undergarments during workouts.
- Wear the right shoes which are comfortable.
- Hydrate yourself before, after and during workouts with water or juices.
- In order to keep your energy high, you can have a light snack before doing workouts