It’s important to stay active while you’re pregnant. For surrogates, exercising while pregnant helps improve heart health, reduce lower back pain, and in some cases, may even shorten your labor time. Beyond the biophysical benefits, exercise can help you stay mentally and emotionally fit as well. Exercise can help reduce stress and maintain your mental wellbeing.
The intensity of your workouts should be based on your level of fitness prior to getting pregnant. Consult your OB to determine whether your workouts are appropriate and safe during pregnancy.
There are countless benefits surrogates can gain from exercise while carrying—and needless to say, it’s important to stay at peak performance throughout the pregnancy. Regardless of your pre-pregnancy routine, the following exercises can be incorporated into your schedule.
Walking is excellent exercise anytime—especially during pregnancy. Part of what makes walking a great choice for a pregnant woman is its applicability to everyday life.
You can take a stroll around your neighborhood or go for a hike in the woods at the end of a work day. You may be pressed for time and need to fit a few shorter walks into your daily routine, including walking around a local mall or grocery store while conquering household chores.
If you’re feeling particularly good that day, you can pick up the pace to increase the benefits of the workout. A brisk walk will work your heart and lungs without jarring your joints. When you’re feeling less peppy, you can slow your speed but still get the steps in.
If you’re part of a surrogacy support group—or happen to have a group of friends and family that are available—consider setting up a group walk to get everybody up and out of the house during your pregnancy.
Swimming is also great exercise for pregnant women. In addition to the cardio benefits, the feeling of weightlessness in the water can alleviate some of the discomforts women experience during the second and third trimesters. Swollen ankles or feet, back aches and hip pains are likely to experience some relief while the pregnant carrier gets her heart pumping.
Not only can swimming alleviate physical stress, but it works your largest muscle groups (your arms and legs) and can help reduce discomfort due to overheating. For all of you summer surrogates, consider getting a few laps in!
Prenatal yoga is an excellent choice for pregnant surrogates. You don’t have to be an expert yogi to enjoy this exercise and reap the benefits of practice.
Prenatal yoga classes are designed to challenge women of all skill levels. Whether you were already practicing yoga before you were matched with your Intended Parents or you’ve never even seen a yoga mat, you can benefit from attending a prenatal yoga class.
One of the greatest benefits of prenatal yoga is the attention to individual aches and discomforts. Most yoga instructors will ask pregnant women what discomforts they’re experiencing that week and will incorporate moves/stretches to help reduce the discomfort(s) during the class.
You can continue to practice the poses you learned at home, prolonging the benefits on days when you’re just not feeling so comfortable and need some good stretching.
Exercises to Avoid
While exercise is beneficial to pregnant surrogates, it should be limited to safe routines and/or those that have been suggested by a doctor.
Pregnant women should avoid any exercises that are extremely demanding—so exercises like high-intensity cardio workouts and heavy weightlifting are absolutely not recommended.
As a surrogate, you should always steer clear of any movements that might throw off your balance and increase your chances of falling or harming the baby. Choose wisely and when in doubt, consult your OB.
As long as you stick to the safe, easy exercises deemed appropriate for pregnant surrogates, you’ll find enormous benefit from staying fit throughout each and every one of your trimesters.