Prenatal exercise: Safety first


Immediately alert your doctor any time you experience vaginal bleeding or spotting, abdominal cramping, absence of fetal movement, or prolonged contractions after stopping exercise. Light-headedness or dizziness, serious headache, shortness of breath, palpitations, fast resting heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute), and chest pain are also signs that warrant a call to your doctor. Avoid exercising in hot, humid climates and don't let yourself get overheated (more than 100.4 deg F core body temperature). Drink lots of water and stay well hydrated before, during, and after activity. Warm up before your main workout, and cool down afterwards. Skip exercising any time you have a fever.

Exercise And Gestational Diabetes

If you have any type of diabetes, it's essential that you do everything you can to maintain tight blood sugar control throughout your pregnancy, for the benefit of you and your baby. This applies as well to gestational diabetes, which is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. (The high blood sugars associated with gestational diabetes may return to normal levels after the pregnancy, but women who have gestational diabetes are at higher risk for developing diabetes later in life.)

The same factors that contribute to type 2 can also contribute to gestational diabetes. It can occur because you are overweight, you have a strong family history of diabetes, or your cells don't use insulin as effectively as they should. High levels of stress hormones, which counteract the actions of insulin, occur during pregnancy as well, and this alone may be enough to cause gestational diabetes in at-risk individuals.

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