Exercise during pregnancy is a good thing for your health and the health of your baby. While most exercises are safe, always talk with your doctor before you begin any fitness program. Certain exercises are to be avoided while you're pregnant, including those that place you in a supine position.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists uses the American College of Sports Medicine's recommended for 30 minutes of daily exercise for everyone. With your doctor's clearance, you can exercise for 30 minutes a day if you do not have any medical conditions or pregnancy complications. Include cardiovascular exercises such as walking, cycling and swimming into your 30 minutes, and also perform strength training and flexibility exercises.
The supine twist is a flexibility exercise for your back. The reason this exercise is not recommended during pregnancy is the supine position. You lie face up for this stretch. In a face-up position, the weight of the baby presses down on your arteries and veins. As a result, the blood flow to and from your heart is reduced, which leads to a drop in blood pressure. A drop in blood pressure reduces the circulation of blood to you and to your baby.
The benefits of the supine twist include a deep stretch for the back, an opening of the hips and a re-alignment of the spine. From a supine position with your right knee brought toward your chest, slowly lower the right knee toward the left side of your body. The twist is repeated on both sides. The twist is not recommended for those with a recent injury to the back or hips. During pregnancy, your hips are extremely mobile, and with the loose hips, you may make the mistake of stretching beyond your range of motion.
A nice back stretch feels good during pregnancy, so as an alternative to the supine twist, use the cat stretch. This all-fours position takes the weight of the baby off your spine and away from the veins and arteries. Start on your hands and knees with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Round your spine and drop the top of your head toward the floor as you exhale. Maintain this position for a few seconds. Inhale and flex your spine as you look at the floor between your hands. Remain in this position for a few seconds before you repeat.
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period
- YogaBasics.com: Supine Twists
- The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion: A Week-by-Week Guide to Everything You Need to do For a Healthy Pregnancy; Robin Elise Weiss
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images