Exercising During a High Risk Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
6 years ago I got pregnant with my daughter. Every thing was going great until I was 4 months. I started having contractions. At 4 1/2 months I was put on bed rest because my uterus was 50% thinned out. At 6 1/2 months I went into my OB because I had not felt the baby move in two days. They did a stress test and rushed me to have a emergency c-section because the baby was very small and her heart rate dropped. My baby girl had no problems and is very healthy today.

My OB told me if I got pregnant again I would be high risk. And then 7 months ago I had to under go surgery to remove endometriosis and found that due to scar tissue my reproductive system was growing to other parts of my body. My uterus had to be cut from the lining of my stomach.

Now I am 4 months pregnant again. So far I have not had any problems except stomach pain, that my OB said is probably caused from my last surgery. I am wondering if exercising is possible? My OB said it was okay for me to work. My only restriction is I'm not allowed to lift over 50 lbs. If if is possible for me to exercise, what can I do?

I am obese and it runs in my family. I'm trying to avoid getting much bigger than I need during pregnancy!

ANSWER

Walking and swimming are both good exercise for pregnancy. There are also good videos for exercise during pregnancy.

Until there is a problem with this pregnancy, I'd say anything you can do to keep the pregnancy as healthy as possible would be a good thing, including exercise, eating a VERY healthy diet with plenty of protein, and making sure you get your 2 liters of water every day.

Good luck!
-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.