When to Start Antepartum Gymnastics?

Antepartum gymnastics is based on all kinds of movements focused on breathing, postural control, and physical strengthening. Keep reading to learn more.
When to Start Antepartum Gymnastics?

Last update: 09 December, 2021

Antepartum gymnastics is one of the main preparation activities for a baby’s birth. If you’re in your second or third pregnancy or you’re a woman who’s immersed in sports, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

But if it’s your first pregnancy, you’re sure to have a lot of doubts and questions. So, today we’ll teach you when and why you should start practicing antepartum gymnastics. Keep reading!

What is antepartum gymnastics?

In general terms, antepartum gymnastics consists of a series of exercises and techniques focused on improving the psychophysical state of pregnant women.

Within antepartum gymnastics, breathing, relaxation, and muscle-strengthening exercises stand out.

The main goal of this activity is to prepare you to experience a less traumatic birth than usual. Remember that during the birth process, your body perceives high levels of stress, as well as great aggression on your physical structures.

It also contributes to the health of the woman during pregnancy, as staying active favors the quality of life of the baby and its mother.

A pregnant woman stretching on the beach.

The optimal time to start antepartum gymnastics

The ideal time to start prepartum gymnastics is relative, as it depends on the woman and the activity. First of all, it’s important to take into account a series of aspects that determine the beginning and the volume of training.

Medical recommendation

The first and most important aspect to remember before starting antepartum gymnastics is to consult with your doctor. Besides recommending when to start, the obstetrician should be in charge of giving you the endorsement to do so. Without their authorization, it’s best to abstain from this gymnastics and look for other alternatives for physical activity.

At the same time, it’s most likely that the professional in the area will recommend an estimated time within which you can start. Commonly, doctors recommend exercising on a scheduled basis after the first trimester or month of pregnancy. This recommendation is based on the risk of miscarriage that exists at the beginning of pregnancy.

According to a publication in the journal Notes on Physical Education and Sports, the increase in maternal temperature during the first trimester could cause problems in embryonic development. Therefore, these experts recommend carrying out the programmed exercise beyond the first trimester of pregnancy.

Still, moderate physical activity isn’t prohibited or limited at any time during pregnancy.

Physical habits before pregnancy

If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, you’re physically fit. This means that you can probably start antepartum gymnastics with less difficulty.

However, you should remember that exercise during pregnancy is subject to various preventive modifications, even in women who are used to training.

With respect to a person who’s not in shape, the conditions of exercise change drastically. In general, you need to start the adaptation process before starting with the gymnastics itself.

Start slow

One of the most important adaptations to exercise is intensity, which is particularly important in pregnancy. At this stage, it’s best to start between low and moderate levels and stay at the latter all the time.

Of course, during the first trimester, the activity must be carried out with greater care. In addition, it’s also important to adapt gymnastics to weight gain and the ailments of each woman.

What activities exist in antepartum gymnastics?

Basically, antepartum gymnastics consists of a series of exercises focused on breathing management and postural control. In it, you can find movements based on yoga and Pilates.

For the first months, we advise you to start with low-intensity walks and with short routes. This will allow you to adjust more easily.

If there’s a possibility, look for water activities to do only in a safe environment and under the supervision of a professional in the field.

A pregnant woman swimming in a bikini.

Get started in antepartum gymnastics

Starting to exercise in order to prepare for childbirth is solely and exclusively up to you. Therefore, the choice is relative to your physical and physiological conditions.

Of course, the first-trimester recommendation shouldn’t be overlooked, but with your obstetrician’s permission, you can get started.

In conclusion, the beginning of the programmed exercise will be personal, as will the routine of gymnastics classes. Remember that each woman and each pregnancy has its peculiarities and must be taken into account.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.