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StorkNet's Week By Week Guide to Pregnancy

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Exercise During Bedrest

If you are on bedrest you will not be able to sustain your current fitness level. However, there may be some exercises that you can do to maintain strength and muscle tone. It is important, however, that your obstetrician approves any exercise for you before you begin. Each pregnancy is different, and every woman should be specifically advised by the health care provider who is caring for her during her high risk pregnancy.

The following exercises should be performed slowly and with focus. The number of repetitions is only a guide, so if you feel stronger go ahead and increase repetitions, if you feel weak try to do 8-10 repetitions taking as many breaks as you need. You will find yourself getting stronger and being able to complete more repetitions with time. Listen to your body and take advantage of the times when you feel strong. Start with no more than three to four of the strengthening exercises per day.

Kegels
Kegel exercises are extremely important for strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor or the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle. This is the muscle that controls the starting and stopping of urine flow. Strengthening these muscles can help during and after labor and it can also keep the vaginal muscles toned. You should do as many as you can tolerate while gradually building up to 50 Kegels per day.

  • Tighten your urinary passage and vaginal muscles for three seconds, relax the muscles for three seconds
  • Begin with 10 three-second squeezes twice to three times a day. Increase repetitions slowly.
  • Work up to 20-50 Kegals per day.

Pelvic Tilt
This exercise will strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.

  • Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on floor.
  • Exhale and tilt your pelvis upward.
  • Tighten your abdominals and squeeze your buttock muscles together.
  • Gently flatten the small your back against the floor.
  • Hold for a count of five.
  • Inhale as you release.
  • Repeat 8-10 times.




  • DO NOT arch your back while performing pelvic tilts.


Ankle Circles

This exercise will feel great, and enhances circulation in your legs and feet.

  • Make 10-15 circles with your ankles in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction.

  • Repeat three to five times.

  • You can do ankle circles while sitting or lying down.


Leg Sliding

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.

  • Do the pelvic tilt (do not arch).


  • Inhale, then slowly slide one heel up the floor or bed, exhale and slowly lower the leg.

  • Keep your back flat at all times and only work within the range that you can maintain a flat back.

  • Repeat 8-10 times.


Bridge
This exercise will strengthen abdominal and back muscles while providing mobility to your spine.

  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet firmly on bed hip width apart.

  • Raise buttocks slowly off the ground and lift your hips about 2-3 inches off the floor to form a straight line.

  • Place your hands on your buttocks to feel the muscles tighten.

  • You should feel the weight primarily in the legs and buttocks, not your lower back. If you feel in the lower back, then lower your hips slightly.

  • Repeat 3-5 times.

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