Exercise in twin pregnancy – should you or shouldn’t you ?
So you have just been told that you are expecting twins and that you will need to gain extra weight, you will need to eat more calories, and you will possibly experience greater pregnancy symptoms. So, how does this affect your exercise routine if you already have one ? And what if you don’t exercise regularly ? Well, it means that you need to be educated on what is best for both you and your babies.
Is exercise in twin pregnancy safe?
Well, there is no right answer here as every woman and every twin pregnancy is different. So, the answer to this question can be extremely confusing. The recommendation for a single pregnancy is 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that women carrying twins refrain from aerobic exercise because of high risks for potential problems. While there are more risks, there are also many healthy women who are pregnant with twins and exercising regularly.
Now would not be the time to start a new program or take up jogging. Safe, low impact activities will help you feel better and aid in digestion and blood circulation.
It is best to discuss your wishes to stay physically active with your health care provider . So much depends on you and you feel, and what kind of risk factors you currently have. If you were physically active before you were pregnant, you will most likely be encouraged to remain active for as long as your health care provider feels it is safe.
What types of exercises can you do?
Once you have received the ‘go- ahead’ from your health care provider you may begin an exercise routine. If you walked daily prior to your pregnancy, then you should be able to continue this for the at least first half of your pregnancy. You may find you are just too big and uncomfortable later on during your twin pregnancy.
Non-weight bearing exercises are often encouraged because they are tolerated better. Other exercises that are considered safe include the stationary bike, arm exercises, and swimming. Many women find the buoyancy of the swimming pool comforting and enjoyable while pregnant. Pregnancy yoga and Kegel exercises are also highly recommended.
What types of exercise in twin pregnancy should you avoid?
You should not be doing any exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. Weight training and resistance exercises should also be avoided. No heavy lifting. You should also refrain from doing any type of exercise if you are running a fever or if it is hot and humid outside. Hot tubs and saunas should be avoided as well. You need to be aware of raising your temperature and heart rate. Moderation is key.
Are there warning signs that I need to watch for when exercising?
* Feeling like you are having contractions
* Feeling pelvic pressure
* Experience vaginal bleeding or discharge
* Feeling lightheaded or seeing ‘stars’
* Sudden swelling, especially in your feet
Make sure that you are staying in touch with your health care provider regarding your exercise in twin pregnancy routine the whole time.
Is there a time when I should cut back on exercise?
As long as you are feeling fine and healthy and not experiencing any complications, most women who have exercised regularly throughout their twin pregnancy can continue to as long as they feel comfortable.
Some healthcare providers encourage women to cut back on their exercise program at 20 weeks (singleton pregnancies cut back at 28 weeks). Obviously if you are experiencing any complications that require partial or total bed rest, this would occur much sooner. The best thing to do is to discuss your exercise options and desires with your prenatal care provider.