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Kate Richards
The pregnancy is still going worryingly well, no new discomforts but the general itchiness remains, along with a much higher appetite.
I recently attended a one-off antenatal physiotherapy class at my local hospital which was very useful. The nurse leading it was excellent. I saw lots of other bumps and discovered that mine's quite small compared with others at my stage.
All the other women there were having pain around their bumps and at the top of their legs from the muscles relaxing and I felt so lucky because I don't (yet!)

The nurse emphasised the importance of pelvic floor exercises, which I must admit I have been slightly lazy about doing. She said that pregnancy can place a lot of stress on your pelvic floor muscles, which form a broad sling from the pubic bone to the base of the spine. Keeping these muscles strong can prevent urinary incontinence and prolapse, and shorten the second (pushing) stage of labour. All very good reasons!

Gentle exercise is also important, she told us. But contact sports are best avoided, as are activities that put a strain on the joints or ligaments, such as high-impact aerobics. Walking, swimming, pregnancy pilates and yoga, or gentle toning and stretching classes are ideal. Cycling is fine until late pregnancy, when your centre of gravity changes and it's possible you may fall off. I'm planning to take advantage of the free swims at my nearest pool, just need to overcome my inertia!

On a different topic, I've investigated some of the alcohol-free wines available, and I can report it's a losing battle. I can strongly recommend red grape juice instead. I also haven't found a particularly good brand of decaffeinated coffee, but some are at least drinkable.

Am missing blue cheese and pate too, so I've promised I'll make it up to myself in September. Frighteningly, that's now only 16 weeks away!

Report on official UK guidance on exercise and pregnancy

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