mother smiles as she holds her baby up

By Catherine CHUA Bee Hong Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Elizabeth CHAN Jiahui Principal Physiotherapist, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

woman doing bridging

Exercising during pregnancy comes with many benefits, including promoting muscle strength and endurance to meet the physical demands of pregnancy. It can also help control your blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise programmes. Ensure you avoid hot conditions, keep hydrated, and wear comfortable attire while exercising.

If you haven't been exercising regularly before pregnancy, start with an easy 15 minutes of activity a day. Then gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.

Bridging exercises help to strengthen your back and buttock muscles. These muscles help support your posture and the demands of the increased weight due to pregnancy.

Here are the steps for the bridging pose exercise:

You would have to lie down on a mat for this pose, keep your knees bent and your shins perpendicular to the floor like in the picture.

Brace your core as you lift your buttocks off the mat, keeping your body straight if you could. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, and avoid holding your breath. Slowly lower yourself back on the mat. Repeat the above steps 10 times.

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Sources:

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore