Should we stretch our muscles when Pregnant?
There are a lot of misconceptions that pregnant women should not stretch or even work out during the pregnancy period. But you might want to read what I’ve written here ladies, because this will change your mind and enhance your pregnancy journey.
Stretching will bring great benefits to the pregnant body, helping you feel more relaxed, mobile and pain free. I have some guidelines for you to follow for safe stretching below that are very important for you to follow.
- Chose simple stretches that target the belly of the muscle that needs stretching.
- Avoid holding a stretch for too long. (15-30 secs are enough to lengthen the muscle.)
- Avoid over-stretching or stretching for increased flexibility.
- Avoid advanced stretches like the splits or the frog stretch or any stretch that places pressure on other joints such as the knees.
It is important to follow the guidelines for safe stretching during Pregnancy to avoid the increased risk of injury. A hormone called Relaxin is released during pregnancy to relax the ligaments and tissues and allow the pelvis to open for delivery. This means we need to be more protective of our joints and muscles as they are not as supported as they normally would be. Relaxin peaks in the body at weeks 14 of Pregnancy, at Birth and up to 10 weeks after and longer if you continue to breastfeed. It’s important to take precautions when stretching, making sure you prepare your body for exercise with a longer warmup and cool-down than usual.
The laxity of the ligaments and tissues as a result of the hormone Relaxin leads to muscles tightening up to compensate, so safe stretching will bring great benefits to the pregnant body, helping you feel more relaxed, mobile and pain free.
One way to safe stretching that we suggest is Pre-Natal Yoga Classes. They are great for safe and effective stretching and can really help relax your back, stretch your inner thighs, open up your hips and thoracic area and will focus on breathing during all the movements which can serve greatly in labor and help you feel better during your pregnancy.
So yes, stretching while pregnant will only bring good to you, and your body will feel like it has been blessed! Being pregnant can feel very uncomfortable and comes with many aches and pains in the body, stretching will help lengthen your muscles and loosen your entire body to the point where you will just feel sore free! Isn’t that amazing!
Ladies, now go do your stretches!