Pregnancy is smooth and easy going only if you keep yourself active throughout. You must walk, climb stairs and exercise to keep yourself and your baby healthy. This is equally or more important than the diet you follow. If your scan reveals that you are carrying twins, there is nothing to worry. We understand that exercising can become a little bothersome if you are pregnant with twins but if you follow a strict regimen and keep yourself fit, even this could be an out-of-the-world experience. So all you ladies who are expecting twins, do you want to know which exercises are safe for you? Read on to know if it safe to exercise during twin pregnancy and which exercises are safe when you are expecting twins!
Challenges Of A Twin Pregnancy
- When you are pregnant with twins, your body releases a large amount of the pregnancy hormone
- With two babies growing in you, your uterus grows larger than other pregnant woman in order to accommodate two babies. Due to this you experience more aches, pains, twitches, and pulls
- When you are carrying twins there is increased strain on your lower body and this might make it uncomfortable for you to sit on a mat or lie on back
- Also with twin pregnancy, there is extra pressure on other organs in the body and as a result your breathing and heart rate may differ from women pregnant with a single baby
Is It Safe To Exercise While Expecting Twins?
Remember, friends may advise you to rest and hormonal changes could make you want to eat and sleep at most times. But, it is also important to know that the chances of preterm labor are common when you are pregnant with twins. So, exercise, but keep it light and stop it when the delivery date is closer. This could boost your energy levels. If you are the fitness type, it is easier for you; the only change you need to do is to alter it a bit based on your specific needs.
Always consult your doctor rather than simply relying on information from the cyberspace. Many doctors advise patients to stop exercises completely when they reach the second trimester. Once you reach the 24th week, its best to take a short stroll or a short, relaxing swim—nothing more than that.
Benefits of Exercising During Twin Pregnancy
Two important benefits of exercise during twin pregnancy are:
- It will help you get a sound sleep
- Walking aids cardiovascular health that prevents swollen ankles and a sore back that are common during pregnancy
Some Safe Exercises During Twin Pregnancy
Let’s take a look at some exercises that are safe and completely do-able with twin fetuses.
- Swimming: Unless you are having a back/pelvic pain, it is completely ok to swim during pregnancy—even with twins. It helps support the weight, keeps the pressure off joints and ligaments. It even reduces the swelling in the legs that some pregnant women experience. As pregnancy advances, simply moving around, standing or walking in the pool can be quite relaxing. If you are interested, you could try aquanatal classes as well. Remember to consult your doctor though
- Pelvic floor exercises: Also known as Kegel exercises, these are very important to strengthen the muscles that control the bladder and uterus. Most women feel incontinent when they are pregnant and the problem is intense when pregnant with twins. Hence, during this time, pelvic floor exercises can come to your rescue. It also helps you push during delivery easing the process and reduces the risk of hemorrhoids. For more details on how to and safety measures to be followed, look up here
- Walking: This is perhaps the simplest and the most beneficial. It keeps you fit and active, so it a good idea to spend at least 30 minutes of the day walking. Unless you experience pain in the lower back or pelvic region, you can continue walking till the very end of your pregnancy. If the pain persists, consult your doctor
- Yoga: Yoga is the best form of exercise for all and pregnant women are no exception. It is gentle, yet helps make your muscles flexible. Breathing exercises have a calming effect and helps you relax which is very essential during pregnancy. Remember to avoid any Asana that calls for lying flat on your back/tummy. These could lower your blood pressure. Also keep away from exercises that cause back pain or cause your tummy muscles to stretch
- Pilates: These are mainly for your tummy and pelvic floor muscles that are put under a lot of strain especially when you are pregnant with twins. It takes the stress off your back and pelvis as the exercises are performed with the hands and knees. Remember, don’t go overboard; look for an instructor qualified to work with pregnant women and keep away from exercises that involve lying flat on your back or tummy
Exercises To Avoid During Twin Pregnancy
- Those that are aimed at weight loss
- Heavy sports like soccer and football
- Skiing, biking, and horseback that are risky; you may fall or sustain injuries
- Trekking at high altitudes
- Any exercises that may strain your cervix
What Are The Signs That I Should Stop Exercising?
While exercising if you have uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions it is advisable to take a break and allow them to settle. Even after rest, if they still continue or become painful, immediately contact your doctor.
You should stop exercising and contact your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms due to exercising:
- Excessive Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Feel dizzy
- Contractions that are painful or signs of premature labor
- Water breaks or leaks
- Spotting or vaginal bleeding
- Stomach ache
- Baby is moving or kicking less
- Headache that is not going away after rest
- Weakness in the muscles
- Any kind of pain or swelling in your calf
Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead for exercises, choose moderate ones that are beneficial and suited to your medical condition. Of course, what is even more important is to top up your exercises with good food and plenty of water to stay healthy and hydrated. Pregnancy is a period of joy and with twins it is only doubled. Enjoy it while it lasts.