Exercise with cervical cerclage? Is it safe?

Most doctors will recommend that you reduce exercise with a cervical cerclage. Although this advice will vary depending on each individual’s situation.

You may be told to avoid strenuous activity, lifting heavy objects and any high impact physical activity. Or you may be asked to be on full bed rest, with no movement whatsoever.

Either way, when you’re experiencing the anxiety that comes with pregnancy complications, not being able to move can feel debilitating. I’ve been on (unofficial) bedrest during one of my pregnancies when I experienced unexplained bleeding. I just remember feeling completely trapped in my own body.

The anxiety was extreme. I was lying still, with nothing to do, running over mental worst-case-scenarios in my head. It was not a fun time.

Movement is such an important part in relieving anxiety so let’s talk about what you can actually do with a cervical cerclage safely.

exercise with cervical cerclage

Is there any safe exercise with cervical cerclage?

Perhaps we need to first reconsider the word ‘exercise’ when it comes to cervical cerclage. If you’ve been put on bedrest, there’s a reason for it.

Now is not the time to worry about exercise for the sake of your physical appearance. You’ll have all the time in the world to worry about that later (when your baby is safely in your arms).

Instead, shift your focus to how you can move to help your body feel good. Our focus as this time should be to choose movement that will help you to manage anxiety and improve sleep.

Gentle yoga is my choice for a number of reasons.

Why yoga for cervical cerclage?

  • Yoga can be practised right from your bed (in your pjs!).
  • Choose poses that don’t put pressure on the pelvis and cervix.
  • Stay lying down and make sure that you’re comfortable. Use a range of props (pillows, blankets, etc) to support you.
  • Yoga is so much more than the physical practise. Breathwork and meditation are going to be invaluable while you’re on bedrest.

How do I know if yoga while on bedrest is right for me?

  1. Ask your doctor. It’s always best to check first. Show them this video below and get the okay first.
  2. Listen to your body as you practise. If something doesn’t feel good – skip it and rest. Your body (and intuition) knows best.

If I feel like exercise with cervical cerclage isn’t right for me – what can I do?

If you still feel unsure about moving your body while on bedrest, then – don’t bother! It’s not worth creating more anxiety for yourself and worrying about whether something you’ve done has caused a problem. Read more about managing anxiety during pregnancy here.

If you’re opting for no movement, breath work and meditation are also great ways to shift anxiety when you’re on bedrest. I’ve included a few examples for you to try below, or join us in my Online Yoga Circle for more practises like this.

Breath work for anxiety during pregnancy

Get yourself in a comfortable position lying on your side with pillows to support your back, knees and belly.

Close down the eyes and bring one hand to your belly.

Notice your breath moving in and out freely, and let yourself sink into your position.

Take a deep breath in through the nose.

As you exhale, make a tiny pin-sized hole between the lips and slowly exhale the air from this hole.

Imagine your breath as a golden thread spinning from your lips.

Keep exhaling until all the breath is gone, and then breathe in again through the nose.

Exhale again from the small hole between the lips. Imagine this golden thread of breath falling to rest on the bed beneath you. Imagine this golden thread as soft and warm. As you continue breathing imagine this thread surrounds your entire body, providing support and warmth.

Continue breathing in this way for ten full breaths.

Slowly return to your normal breath rhythm and then blink the eyes open.

Pregnancy meditation for anxiety

Some final thoughts

I hope you’re not feeling entirely confused. I know I haven’t given you a clear cut answer to this question. I’d love nothing more to be able to tell you straight up. This is the perfect type of exercise for you. But that doesn’t exist.

And that’s life right? It’s all shades of grey. What is right for you, won’t be right for me – and vice versa.

Where to start with exercise for pregnancy cerclage?

Ask your doctor for their advice.

If you get the go ahead for gentle movement, ask yourself – will my anxiety be better or worse if I practise?

If you still feel unsure about movement – choose one of the breath practises or meditations above.

Feel good about movement? Try my yoga for pregnancy cerclage class.

In the meantime, I’ll be sending you and your baby love and hope. Stay well. x

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