Walking is safe if you are healthy and have a normal pregnancy. A moderate amount of walking does not cause early delivery, low birth weight, or miscarriage, as is commonly believed. On the contrary, physical activity is shown to decrease pregnancy-related complications that may arise due to weight gain and immobilization.
Walking during pregnancy improves your fitness and strengthens your heart and blood vessels. Walking could also help you tone your muscles and it’s other benefits are:
- Helps reduce back pain
- Helps relieve constipation
- Reduces the need for cesarean delivery
- Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes
- Reduces the risk of preeclampsia
- Helps prevent excess weight gain
- Reduces the risk of blood clots
- Promotes postpartum weight loss
General Tips For Walking During Pregnancy
- Choose comfortable shoes
- Eat before walking
- Hydrate yourself
- Choose an ideal, safe place
- Moisturize and protect your skin
You should slow down or stop walking if you feel fatigued or tired. Although walking could benefit you during pregnancy, it should be done in moderation.
- Slow down or stop walking if you experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or joint pain
Muscle and joint pain can get better after you rest for a day or two. Try walking slowly for a short duration after you feel healthy. If the pain persists, talk to your doctor, and try non-weight-bearing workouts, such as swimming.
- You should stop walking and call your doctor if you notice any of the following warning signs.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Breathing difficulty before walking
- Chest pain
- Weakness of muscles
- Swelling or pain on calf muscles
- Uterine contractions
- Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
- Fluid leak from the vagina
Walking offers several benefits to an expectant mother and her baby. The fetus could benefit by having a healthy birth weight. You may plan a walk according to your convenience and safety.
You may walk with family members, friends, or, if possible, with a group of expectant moms to avoid boredom. Walking could also help you stay positive and motivated.