Changes In The Body During Pregnancy

Facts

  1. The body of the pregnant woman is affected by a number of conditions during pregnancy
  2. The joints and muscles are influenced increasingly in the course of pregnancy due to weight increase
  3. Blood pressure decreases at the beginning and rises toward the end of pregnancy. Heart rate increases throughout pregnancy
  4. Oxygen levels in the blood is increased through the pregnancy, and most will develop shortness of breath by activity towards the end of pregnancy
  5. Calorie requirements during pregnancy increases by about 10 to 15%
  6. The information is based on the American guidelines

Changes In The Body During Pregnancy

Muscle-skeletal apparatus
Anatomical and physiological changes in pregnancy can affect muscle-skeletal apparatus both at rest and during physical exertion. The most visible is the weight increase. The rising weight can lead to increased stress on joints such as hips and knees – for example in the context of race. Such a strain can cause discomfort in normal joints and increase the risk of injury in people with previous joint damage. Displacement of the body’s centre of gravity makes that pregnant sway more in the back, which increases the risk of transient back problems.

It is not scientifically shown to increase weight in pregnancy damage the joints. It is also not shown that other pregnancy changes lead to musculoskeletal injuries in connection with physical activity during pregnancy. At the discomfort from the musculoskeletal system should pregnant women, as a coach or are very physically active, however, discuss it with your doctor.

The uterus
Activity in the uterus have been measured in women, as coach. There are no significant changes found in the uterine muscle contractions for the last eight weeks of pregnancy as a result of training. In cases where scientists have found several contractions of the uterus during physical activity, the intensity of these contractions have been low. There is no scientific indications that moderate physical activity can trigger a premature birth. Women who have previously born prematurely, or who are at risk for preterm delivery (for example, women who are expecting twins, or who have had abortions late in pregnancy), it is advisable to reduce activity in the second and third trimester.

Nutritional needs
After 13. week of pregnancy you need about 300 extra calories per day to cover the additional requirements, which are triggered by pregnancy. This energy requirement increases further during physical activity. During weight-bearing activities such as walking, increase energy needs in line with the increase in pregnancy weight. Pregnant women use more carbohydrates than non-pregnant women.

Heart and circulation
Pregnancy causes large changes in blood circulation. The changes consist in greater blood volume (blood volume) and faster heart rate (pulse). Halfway into pregnancy pumps the heart 30-50% more blood into the circulatory system than before the pregnancy. Blood pressure decreases by 5-10 mm Hg until the middle of the pregnancy, then increases blood pressure gradually until the same values as before pregnancy. These circulatory changes are helping to create a reserve capacity, which is needed to ensure nourishment and oxygen to both mother and fetus, as well as at rest during physical activity.

The circulatory changes in the body is of importance for pregnant both at rest and during exertion. After the first trimester will womb/embryo press the blood vessels in the abdomen when the pregnant lie on your back. This inhibits back the course of blood to the heart, reducing the amount of blood that the heart can pump out. For the same reason, pregnant women should avoid to lie on his back, both at rest and during exercise. To stand still in upright position is also associated with a clear reduction of the amount of blood the heart pumps out. It should therefore also be avoided.

It is unclear how the pregnant women’s heart rate responds to regular, moderate exercise. There are both reporting weakened and normal reaction to weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing loads. It makes it a little difficult to use heart rate as a good target to regulate exercise intensity during pregnancy.

The breath
Pregnancy is associated with large changes in breathing. The amount of air, as check-in and exhaled, increased by approximately 50%. This increases oxygen levels in the blood–most in the first trimester, but decreasing in subsequent trimesters and up until birth. Oxygen uptake in the body is increased. Due to the increased oxygen demand at rest and greater efforts to breathe, because the enlarged uterus pushes the diaphragm upwards, and therefore decreases, lung volume has the pregnant less oxygen available at the cardio training than pregnant women. The body’s maximum performance will be somewhat reduced during pregnancy. With part well-trained women look, however, there does not appear to be any reduction in the maximum oxygen uptake or changes in acid-base balance during exercise in pregnancy compared to non-pregnant women.

Temperature regulation
Blood circulation is affected most by the increasing metabolic demand (metabolic needs) that training entails. That is why it is essential for the body to get rid of the excess heat, which will be formed during training. Heat production is further increased during pregnancy compared to non-pregnant women. The increase in body temperature during exercise is directly related to the intensity of the exercise. At a moderate intensity exercise with aerobic exercises in normal temperature, increases core temperature in non-pregnant women with 1.5 ° c during the first 30-minute workout and when as a plateau, if exercise continues for an additional 30 minutes. The body get rid of excess heat by increasing blood circulation to the skin and the evaporation by sweat. If heat production exceeds the body’s ability to get rid of heat, for example during training in hot, humid environments or in connection with the high-intensity training, core temperature will continue to rise. During long training documents can be fluid loss reducing the ability to sweat, which in itself reduces heat loss, and increase the body temperature. Maintenance of fluid balance, and thereby blood volume, are therefore critical for heat balance.

Science on the effects of the training on core temperature during pregnancy is limited. Fetal core temperature is approximately 1 ° c higher than the mother’s temperature. In animal studies, it is shown that an increase in the mother’s core temperature greater than 1.5 ° c in the early phase of fetal development could be harmful. Temperature above 39 ° c during the first 45-60 days of pregnancy can thus be harmful also in humans. However, there are no reports, to high temperature in connection with training has resulted in birth defects.

Fetal response to training
Risk of birth defects in an uncomplicated pregnancy as a result of the pregnant trainer, is highly unlikely. The vast majority of risks for the fetus is hypothetical. It looks like that the baby’s birth weight only in small degree influenced by training in women with a sufficient energy intake. Studies of athletes, which continues relatively hard physical training in pregnancy, suggesting that such activities pose a very low risk.

Medical assessment
Follow-up of pregnant women, as coach, handled adequately by the routine pregnancy check. If not present medical conditions, exacerbated by physical training, should the pregnant are encouraged to participate in regular physical activity of moderate intensity. Top practitioners, as continuing intensive training, may have a need for closer follow-up.

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