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Maternal Health

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The benefits of staying active during and after your pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy has loads of benefits, but mothers-to-be often shy away from being active for fear they’ll do harm, or they simply don't know where to start

Advice from maternal health professionals

Green Prescription Maternal

Green Prescription Maternal is a six month lifestyle programme to support mums during pregnancy and/or post birth.

Who would benefit?

  • All mums! During pregnancy and/or post birth.
  • People who are inactive and want support to become more active or change their nutrition.

Green Prescription Maternal can help with (gestational) diabetes control, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, help reduce your need for medications, and assist with weight management and improve your general fitness and wellbeing.

Your doctor, practice nurse or midwife can refer you to Green Prescription. Once we receive your referral, we will ring you and arrange a time for you to meet your advisor at one of our Green Prescription clinics.

Find out more about Green Prescription

 

Why move?

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your wellbeing and health.

  • Being active 30 minutes every day can help by strengthening your muscles, heart and lungs, giving you the extra energy and strength needed for pregnancy and post birth.
  • One of the biggest benefits is for your wellbeing. Exercise makes us feel better, and if you’re part of a group class there’s also the added bonus of socialising with other women who understand what it’s like to be pregnant or be a mum.
  • Regular physical activity supports you to establish and maintain positive patterns in family life that are key to raising healthy families.
  • An improved posture, improved circulation and some relief from ailments such as leg cramps, constipation, high blood pressure, fatigue and bloating.
  • Increased muscle strength to get you ready for carrying bubs and the baby equipment.

Important things to consider

  • You’re more likely to stay active if you choose an enjoyable activity suitable for your fitness level. Some good options include going for a walk, swimming or aqua jogging.
  • Contact sports are best for after pregnancy.
  • Exercise in cooler temperatures or shorter periods in extremely hot conditions.
  • Take a break before hitting the point of exhaustion.
  • Leave the heavy lifting to someone else and activities that involve straining or holding your breath can be enjoyed after birth.
  • Ligaments can become more loose during pregnancy so choose exercises that are not overloading the pelvic connective tissue.

After the first trimester, choose exercises that avoid lying flat on your back.

 

Getting started

The first step: consult your doctor or midwife

It’s always a good idea to check-in with your doctor or midwife to make sure the exercise is good for you and your baby. You can also ask for a Green Prescription referral if you'd like extra support.

 

More information

If you're ready to get active and want to find a suitable activity option, then be sure to check out our Maternal Physical Activity Classes page. Alternatively, if you work with mums then we've assembled a range of experts to discuss ways service providers can support ante- and postnatal populations to lead healthy and active lifestyle. Visit our Expert advice for providers working with mums webpage to find out more.

 

Questions?

Lizzy Horlock_Snppet

Lizzy Horlock

GRx Advisor (EBOP)/Maternal Coordinator

lizzyh@sportbop.co.nz

027 554 1401

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x3 May 2016

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