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You get a lot of conflicting advice about exercise when you’re pregnant with twins.
Often, the reason for the disagreement is that every pregnancy is different:
- In many cases, carrying twins can go so smoothly, there’s nothing you need to be especially careful about when picking an exercise.
- Other times, twin pregnancies can come with complications and a bit of risk.
Whether or not exercising while pregnant with twins is safe for you depends on how free of risk your pregnancy is.
See how carrying twins is different than carrying just one baby, and how you should adapt your exercises as a result.
As long as you were healthy and you exercised regularly before your pregnancy, then chances are you can safely continue exercising while pregnant with twins — as long as you’re not experiencing any complications.
If your doctor fears that complications could affect your twin pregnancy, she will usually ask you to:
- NOT exercise past 20 weeks; or
- Put your exercise plans on hold altogether until your babies arrive.
It’s important when you’re pregnant with twins to have a conversation with your doctor about which exercises will work best for you.
Safe Exercises When You’re Pregnant With Twins
The following forms of exercise are generally considered safe when pregnant with twins, as long as you don’t overdo it:
- Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
- Water aerobics
- Riding a stationary bike
- Prenatal yoga
Risky Exercises If You’re Pregnant With Twins
In addition to activities that require a good deal of balance (like bicycling or horseback riding), the following kinds of exercises are usually considered too risky for twin pregnancies.
If you have these in mind, you should be especially careful and make sure that your doctor approves first:
- Weight loss exercises – Most mothers expecting twins gain about 50 pounds through their pregnancy. If you’ve led a weight-conscious life, putting on weight like this can be emotionally difficult to take. During pregnancy though, the extra weight is an indication of good health. Weight loss exercises during a twin pregnancy are not considered a good idea.
- Exercise that requires you to lie on your back – Many yoga positions require you to lie on your back. The extra weight that you carry when pregnant with twins can become almost too much for your body to take when you’re on your back. For example, the weight can shut off circulation to your legs.
- Team sports & contact sports – There’s a greater risk that you’ll accidentally get hit in the belly. As a result, you should avoid any form of exercising where you’re unable to predict the sudden actions of others.
- Weight training and resistance exercises – You want to avoid exercise that puts downward pressure on your cervix and anything that raises your body temperature a great deal. Weight-bearing exercise is generally not recommended if you’re pregnant with twins. Try to avoid lifting, stooping, and bending over.
- High-altitude or high-pressure activities – When you’re in the mountains, stay below 6,000 feet when you’re walking or hiking, and avoid high-altitude sports (like downhill skiing). On the flip side, avoid underwater activities (like scuba diving) due to the changes in pressure.
The recommendation for a single pregnancy is 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that women carrying multiples refrain from aerobic exercise because of high risks for potential problems. Source
Myths About Exercising While Pregnant
While it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution when you’re pregnant with twins, you shouldn’t begin believing in every cautionary theory that people come up with.
It’s important to stay clear of the following myths.
- It’s never safe to get your heart rate over 130 – This used to be the rule that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists went by a few years ago. Today though, they advise expectant mothers to go by the amount of exertion they perceive.
- Getting an abdominal workout is unsafe during a twin pregnancy – Not only do abdominal workouts help, doctors often recommend these workouts. Gentle abdominal workouts offer several benefits. The strength they give your core muscles can make a pregnancy, labor and recovery far smoother. It’s important, though, to avoid abdominal exercises that have you on your back.
- You should stop exercising at the first sign of pain – Without a doubt, pain, lightheadedness, spotting, or dizziness should alert you to stop your workout and immediately find a place to sit down. But it doesn’t mean that you need to give up on exercising altogether. You just need to talk to your doctor about it. Exercise can be a very important part of a healthy twin pregnancy. It’s always a good idea to do what you can to keep moving. That said, always be on the lookout for these pregnancy symptoms that should never be ignored.
Don’t use pregnancy as a vacation. Exercise for better health for you and your babies. Whether you have been exercising prior to conception or you are just starting out, be sure to check with your doctor prior to starting any workout routine after you become pregnant. Source
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).