You have surely seen at least one pregnant woman carrying heavy packages from the supermarket or holding her firstborn in her arms. And you’ve also heard that a future mother shouldn’t bend over and lift weights during pregnancy. In some situations, it is really dangerous to lift heavy things while pregnant. Let’s talk about such cases in more detail.
Is it dangerous to lift weights during pregnancy?
It’s not strictly forbidden, but still, it is better to avoid heavy lifting during pregnancy. Of course, there are women who lift heavy things while pregnant and eventually give birth to healthy babies. But, as a rule, it happens when the body’s got used to such loads. For example, if a future mother practices weightlifting for years, the risk to harm a baby and herself during pregnancy will be low. The same applies to the women who live in villages and are also used to heavy loads. But nevertheless, there are cases when such «heroics» ends badly even if a woman is used to hard work. All in all, the question is: if you aren’t sure, is it worth a risk?
By the way, it is rather difficult to harm an unborn child lifting something heavy, speaking about the health of a baby. But there is a high risk of a premature birth or a miscarriage, especially when the pregnancy is complicated. Another issue is the state of health of a future mum who can injure her back lifting heavy weights. And the back muscles are already overloaded because of the baby in the womb.
And what about bending?
If you have any health problems, it is better to minimize bending and physical activity. But even when everything’s fine with your pregnancy you should bend over carefully, especially during the last months. And avoid any sharp bends starting from the 4th month. So if you need to lean down, bend your knees a little bit – thus the load will be distributed evenly. You can also squat instead of bending and then gradually get up.
Remember that you can minimize the load after bending with the help of bandage for the pregnant. Nowadays there are a lot of different variants of it in the market. If you’re planning to do some housework and you’ll need to bend a lot, put on a bandage and it will be easier and quicker to bend over for you.
What if you absolutely have to lift weights during pregnancy?
There can still be times when you have to lift weights no matter how much your dear husband tries to protect you during the 9 months of pregnancy. If you need to lift something heavy, do it right, with the minimal load on your body. Stand in such a way that your legs are about 20 inches apart. Bend over the knees but don’t tilt your upper body when you want to lift something heavy from the ground! Your back should be straight. Avoid any fast movements: better safe than sorry.
So, taking into account everything that’s been mentioned, here are the basic rules of lifting weights during pregnancy you should know:
- A pregnant woman shouldn’t lift more than 7 pounds;
- If you’re carrying shopping bags, distribute the load evenly in each hand;
- As soon as your belly becomes noticeable, you should wear a bandage;
- If you feel any pain or, what is even worse, notice some bleeding after lifting weights, urgently consult a doctor.