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Weight lifting during pregnancy: A-okay or a big no-no? The sense that a lot of people have that pregnant women are fragile is a little inaccurate. Women's body's are designed to be able to function as normal as possible while pregnant. However, this may not always be the case.
If you lift weights normally and are looking to continue with your weight training routine, or if you are looking to start lifting weights for the first time while pregnant, there is one crucial first step which must be taken. Talk to your doctor about it first! You'll need to know if there are any special precautions you need to take. Each pregnancy is as different as every woman.
Is lifting weights dangerous while pregnant?
As a general rule, it is safe to lift weights during pregnancy. Maintaining weight training throughout the pregnancy is actually a really great way to stay in shape, and has positive repercussions on the pregnancy and birthing process. Even starting a new weight training routine for the first time is perfectly healthy and normal. In both of these cases, it is also recommended that no extreme or heavy lifting should be done. Avoid bodybuilding style training, focusing primarily on maintenance and good health.
Some rules to abide by when training while pregnant
Never lift too heavy. If you can't do more than 8 repetitions of a particular weight, it is probably too heavy. The actual amount of the weight will vary greatly depending on your level of fitness before pregnancy. Highly experienced fit moms may opt for a 20 or 25 lb dumbbell while others may stick with their 5lbs and still get a great but safe workout.
If you are struggling or are not sure if you are doing an exercise exactly the right way, ask for help. A professional will be more than happy to show you proper technique, reducing your chance of pulling a muscle, or twisting a joint.
Avoid lifting while flat on your back. This one most applies to the second and third trimester. By this stage, you'll notice what positions are comfy and the ones which don't feel right at all. Lying flat on the back puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which carries blood to the heart. Once the baby weight starts to layer on, lying flat on your back becomes a risk, especially while the heart is working hard to meet your training needs.