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Author Topic: Any tips on safe exercises?  (Read 2559 times)


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Any tips on safe exercises?
« on: April 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM »
After 4+ weeks on bedrest, and hopefully 12 more to go, I am really ready to do something to help my poor body. I see both my perinatologist and OB next week, and I intend to ask them, but I know that this forum can be a fountain of knowledge.

My main goal is to grow a healthy baby girl, but it would be added bonus if I didn't have to gain 5,000 pounds and lose all muscle tone in the process :). My first step is to stop eating frosting by the spoonful and the next step is to do some type of exercise each day.

Advice? Suggestions?
EDD 7/14
Bed rest since 3/1 (20 wks 5 d)
Cerclage 3/2 due to premature dilation (2+) and effacement


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Re: Any tips on safe exercises?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011 at 01:17 AM »
Hi, there! Great question! Here's an article we ran a while back. This should get you started! You'll want to check out the link at the bottom to, because she lists some other exercises on her site.

And also help speed your bed rest recovery

By Darline Turner-Lee

Bed rest is seldom in any woman’s plan for her pregnancy. Yet each year some 700,000 to 1 million women willingly succumb to their obstetricians’ bed rest prescriptions to ensure the best hope for their babies. However, bed rest is not without risk. Numerous research studies report that inactivity—even for as short a time as two weeks—results in loss of muscle mass and strength. NASA studies done to evaluate the effects of weightlessness on female astronauts found that in 60 days women lost up to 25 percent of muscle mass and nearly half of their muscle strength.

Pregnant women prescribed bed rest are often inactive for months at a time. As a result, pregnant women on bed rest are at increased risk of developing blood clots in their legs that could dislodge, then travel to the heart, lungs or brain and be fatal.

So what is a woman on bed rest to do, not only to guard against these potential health risks but also to speed her recovery postpartum I recommend engaging in modified exercises while on bed rest. Each woman’s circumstances are unique, so consult with your obstetrician or midwife before performing these exercises.

The following four exercises are samples of exercises that women on bed rest can do to stimulate their leg muscles, increase blood circulation and reduce the risk of a blood clot forming in the legs. They can be done with a rubber exercise band or with a long bath towel to provide a bit of resistance. Do them two to three times a day.

Quad/Hamstring Curls: Lay on your side with your body straight. Wrap the towel around your top foot and hold the ends of the towel in your hand. Slowly bend your top knee bringing your foot the heel to your buttocks. Release to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.
Quadriceps Extensions: Sit upright in bed comfortably propped up with pillows. Wrap the towel around both feet and hold an end in each hand. Slowly slide your feet towards you, bending your knees and using the towel for assistance. Only go as far as is comfortable. If you feel pressure in your lower abdomen, stretch your feet back out! Then slowly push your feet back out, giving a bit of resistance with the towel. Repeat 10 times.

Abduction/Adduction: Sit upright in bed comfortably propped up with pillows. Wrap the towel around both feet and hold an end in each hand. Slowly open your legs to a wide “V”, holding the towel firmly to provide a bit of resistance. Slowly bring your legs back together using the towel to assist. Repeat 10 times.

Calf Stretches: Sit upright in bed comfortably propped up with pillows. Wrap the towel around the balls of the feet and hold an end in each hand. Slowly point and flex your toes, tightening and releasing your leg muscles. Repeat 10 times.

You can also perform these exercises if you are released from bed rest before delivery, to speed your recovery and help regain your strength.

Darline Turner-Lee is a physician assistant, ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist and a certified perinatal fitness instructor. She developed and produced Bedrest Fitness, a full-body modified fitness program for pregnant women on prescribed bed rest. For more information or to purchase the DVD, visit