Exercise During Pregnancy
Whether or not to continue/start exercising and whether or not it’s safe for baby is always a well discussed topic by a mother and her support system during the duration of her pregnancy. When health care professionals are asked by expectant mothers most will give the same answer that if the pregnancy is normal and the routines are minimal without the intent of weight loss than its completely safe and even encouraged.
The issues come in the details such as; if the mother had not established an exercise routine prior to the pregnancy should she start now?
· Yes! The benefits of exercising during pregnancy are well documented and researched some can include;
o Helping to reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
o May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
o Increases your energy
o Improves your mood
o Improves your posture
o Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
o Helps you sleep better
o Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. This will make it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born. (AP)
This doesn’t mean that an unexperienced mother should jump into a routine that is strenuous or draining, emotionally or physically, it simply means that about thirty minutes a day of light exercise can help to improve the mother’s entire state of being.
Another issue can be what is the mother actually allowed to do?
· This is often discussed when asking if it’s safe for the mother to exercise at all due to rumors causing miscarriages. While a miscarriage is entirely possible when the mother puts too much strain on her body exercising appropriately will not result in a miscarriage. I recommend prenatal yoga as a form of exercise to expecting mothers because it is easy, relaxing and good for the body. Prenatal yoga is not regular yoga an expectant mother cannot do many of the usual yoga poses and moves there are plenty of online resources one can use to find parental positions and many places do offer a prenatal class. There are many things that mothers need to avoid doing in order to keep baby as safe as possible including
o Activities where falling is more likely
o Exercise that may cause any abdominal trauma, including activities that with jarring motions, contact sports or rapid changes in direction
o Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, or bouncing
o Bouncing while stretching
o Waist twisting movements while standing
o Intense bursts of exercise followed by long periods of no activity
o Exercise in hot, humid weather
o Do not hold your breath for an extended period of time
o Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion (AP)
Don’t let this list persuade you to not exercise, while it seems like a lot it is basic stuff that you would most likely avoid naturally. Exercising responsibly during your pregnancy has many more pros than cons.
One of the biggest issues for mothers is will exercising help with the baby weight?
· While the most basic and direct answer is yes, there is much more to it than that. The most important thing to remember is to NOT exercise with the intent to lose or keep off your baby weight! This often leads to intense exercising and micromanaging your food intake both of these things are bad for baby and you. The idea of exercising while pregnant is for the emotional and physical health of the mother not to be used as a weight loss tool. Exercising during pregnancy can help you to lose the baby weight after birth faster but that is not a guarantee.
The overall effect of exercise during pregnancy is great for mother and baby when used responsibly and only during a non-risk pregnancy, make sure you check with you practitioner before committing to any type of routine or class.
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