You are pregnant with twins! Now what? Exercise is key during pregnancy, but it may be even more important for you, but be careful, a twin pregnancy is a lot more demanding than a singleton pregnancy and you have to take it easy!
Exercise during a twin pregnancy
The following list includes some tips that will help you exercise safely and effectively throughout your twin pregnancy:
- Do not overdue it. You can’t do too much of anything when pregnant, so don’t push yourself to the point where you risk injury. This means taking longer breaks between sets or exercises, modifying moves so they are easier on your back or joints, etc. Listen to your body!
- Stay focused on maintaining good posture and using proper form when doing any type of exercise.
- Pay attention to how your belly feels – stop exercising if it becomes tingly or numb because because you might be putting too much pressure on your placenta.
- Keep a log of all the exercises you do and how long you did them for, as well as any modifications that were made. This will help keep track of everything throughout your pregnancy in case there are questions later on!
- If possible, work out with someone else who is pregnant (or someone with twins) and share tips, encouragement, etc.
- If you experience any complications during your pregnancy such as bleeding or cramps that do not go away within a few minutes of rest, stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider right away! Also note the time when these symptoms occurred so you can report them to your health provider.
Is it safe to exercise if I am carrying twins?
It is okay to exercise while pregnant with twins, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start. In comparison to someone who is just having one child, you will certainly gain weight more quickly, which will make some forms of exercise very uncomfortable sooner in your pregnancy.
The majority of specialists agree that you should refrain from engaging in any intense or aerobic exercise beyond 28 weeks. The latter three months of a twin pregnancy are very demanding, and approximately half of all twin pregnancies are terminated before 37 weeks. If you intend to continue exercising after 28 weeks, you should first consult with your doctor or midwife about your options.
What type of exercise is best for a twin pregnancy?
Swimming, yoga, and Pilates are all excellent kinds of physical activity. Don’t forget to perform pelvic floor exercises during your pregnancy, since they are really beneficial.
As long as it is comfortable for you and you are not experiencing pelvic or back pain, walking is a safe and effective form of exercise throughout your pregnancy.
Yes, yoga is back in vogue. Unless you’ve been spending most of your twin pregnancy convalescing on a deserted island, you’ve seen the countless new varieties of yoga widely available. But let’s be clear: This is not the yoga of the 1960s where we witnessed a bone-thin Indian contort his body into fodder for a three-ring sideshow.
Yoga can be beneficial if you are expecting twins because it is a moderate way to keep fitness while expecting twins. It can also aid in the development of flexibility and muscular tone. When you are pregnant, stay away from upside-down poses and any movements that need you to rest flat on your back for long periods of time. This has the effect of decreasing blood supply to the uterus (womb). Never force or strain yourself during any position or stretch, especially those that stress the belly muscles, as this might result in injury. If you are experiencing back or pelvic pain, it is possible that you will need to adjust some of your postures. Some of the positions may get difficult after 28 weeks of practice. Check with your doctor and yoga instructor to see if they agree that you can continue with your courses after this point.
While traditional yoga remains popular, we are now offered everything from bikram (yoga in a 100 degree room—doesn’t that sound cool?) to power flow yoga (sweaty, active). Everyone can find a method to fit her lifestyle and individual needs. And best of all, yoga makes a great prenatal workout for most women expecting twins. (As with any new exercise program, however, check with your physician first.)
The basic yoga principles of stretching, breathing, and meditation address many needs of the laboring mother-to-be (although the benefits are easier to reach than mimicking our pretzel-twisting gentleman from the above example). Regular focused stretching, for example, aids the body’s flexibility, which in turn, assists in labor and delivery.
Pregnancy Yoga Stretching
A supple body is far better able to accept the rigors of birthing. In addition, a pregnant woman practising yoga becomes in tune with her body’s strengths and weaknesses and can address them prior to delivery by keeping the healthy parts toned and working toward enhancing the areas that are not. Because all of yoga is adaptable to individual situations, a mom-to-be expecting twins or even triplets can safely benefit from this Hindu practice. Even women with some pregnancy risk factors can join in with a doctor’s approval.
Pregnancy Yoga Breathing
Next comes breathing. It’s important, right? There’s nary a birthing class where you can escape without mention of how focused breathing helps women control their emotions and anxiety to manage the pain of labor, and other concerns related to pregnancy. By managing your breathing during labor through yoga’s shallow, middle and deep breathing, you’re more likely to stay calm and in control.
When the breath flows without restriction it has a calming effect on the whole nervous system. The breath is the link between the mind and the body. It helps one to sense that pressure is not pain. It can help interpret feelings more accurately.
Pregnancy Yoga Postures
The third aspect to yoga involves the postures, or asanas, the physical stretching and exercise component. Based on the concept of a healthy spine and strong, flexible muscles, the postures may seem difficult at first but are actually easily adapted to the pregnant body based on your growing belly, comfort level, and your physical needs. Don’t be intimidated; you can practice even if you’re not in fit condition.
When done correctly, they actually help to avoid backaches and stretch marks! In the book The Sivananda Companion to Yoga: A Complete Guide to the Physical Postures, Breathing Exercises, Diet, Relaxation, and Meditation Techniques of Yoga, author Swami Vishnu-Devananda adapts many yoga positions for pregnancy as well as offers special exercises just for the nine-month pregnancy. For example, when practised regularly the perineal exercises of contracting and releasing vaginal and anal muscles can increase a pregnant mom’s ability to tense and relax these muscles, an important concept to master for delivery!
And finally comes the meditation aspect of the practice. Although this part of yoga often sends many people packing, it can be adapted in a way that best suits your needs. Before you roll your eyes and say, “That’s not me,” consider that mediation, the concept of a quiet inner focus without the distraction of other thoughts or outside stimuli, is pure relaxation for the mind. (And who doesn’t need that during the arduous process of delivery?)
But even if you’re resistant to meditation don’t avoid exploring yoga. Most instructors want students to do what feels most comfortable. Yoga always includes a form of relaxation after each yoga exercise, meditative or simply lying still. (Remember when resting during yoga after the first trimester, it’s safest to lie on your left side to support the proper flow of blood.)So what do you think? Sound intriguing? You can explore the possibilities of yoga for your twin pregnancy in a number of ways.
As you embark on your journey toward wellness, strength and a memorable delivery, remember that yoga is a gentle way to approach body-mind fitness in preparation for the birth of your twins. Good luck!
Pilates is an excellent kind of exercise for twin pregnancies because it targets the belly and pelvic floor muscles, which are put under a great deal of strain when you are carrying more than one child at the same time. Many Pilates exercises are performed in the “hands and knees” position, which is a beneficial posture to exercise in since it relieves a lot of tension from your back and pelvis and may help to position your babies in the best position for birth.
Before beginning Pilates, make sure that you are able to produce a powerful pelvic floor contraction by squeezing in your pelvic floor muscles and holding it for at least 10 seconds before beginning the exercise. If you are unable to maintain a “stable core” by tightening your pelvic floor and lower belly muscles, you may put undue strain on your joints, ligaments, and pelvic floor, which may result in injuries.
Certain postures, particularly those in which you are laying on your stomach or back, are not suitable for you. If at all possible, enroll in a Pilates class that is specifically developed for pregnant women, or ensure that your Pilates instructor is competent to teach pregnant women and is aware that you are having twins before enrolling.
Swimming in a Twin Pregnancy
The buoyancy of the water will make swimming more comfortable than land-based training since it will help to support the extra weight you are carrying. When you exercise, the water helps to support your joints and ligaments, which helps to prevent injury. It also helps to keep you from overheating. Scuba diving can also be beneficial in reducing swelling and discomfort caused by varicose veins, which are a typical side effect of twin pregnancy.
If you have back pain or pelvic pain, you should consult with your midwife or a physiotherapist before you begin swimming lessons. If breaststroke becomes uncomfortable for you, she will be able to recommend different strokes or water workouts that you can try instead of breaststroke.
How much should I push myself when exercising while carrying twins?
When you are expecting twins, you should avoid doing things that will make you feel exhausted, such as going for a run or pushing yourself. Exercise at a level that is comfortable for you in order to be safe. While exercising, you should be able to engage in a comfortable discussion with a companion.
While exercising, some women find it useful to keep track of their heart rate. However, you should not rely on this because heart rates might vary greatly during pregnancy. Follow your body, if you don’t feel strong enough to continue, stop.
If you encounter any signs of over doing exercise, stop and seek advice. If any of following symptoms occur let your Dr know!
- bleeding from the cervix
- eyesight that is hazy
- palpitations in the heart
- swollen hands, feet, and ankles
- You have a strong pain in your abdomen or chest
- leakage of amniotic fluid.
Exercising during a twin pregnancy can be challenging, but it is important to maintain as much of your fitness routine as possible. Do not overdo it; stay focused on maintaining good posture and using proper form when doing any type of exercise; pay attention to how you feel – stop exercising immediately if something doesn’t feel right and let your Dr know!