Before you Begin..
If you exercise during
pregnancy you are ensuring yourself a more
comfortable nine months of pregnancy compared
to not exercising at all. The benefits are
plenty but the correct form of workout and
the amount of exercise you should be doing
counts at every stage of pregnancy. Before
you begin on an exercise regime, it is essential
to get a green signal from your OB/GYN to
exercise. If yours is a low risk pregnancy,
and your doctor has Okayed it you can begin
a fitness program. .
shows that pregnant women who
workout at least 3 times a week
at least for 20 mins face shorter
labor hours than sedentary women.
1. It is also important to remember that every pregnancy
is different and the coping ability differs from woman
to woman depending on your pre-pregnancy fitness level
2. Even if you want to start something new, be prepared
to recognize symptoms and give up the activity if
there are any warning signs such as bleeding, extreme
fatigue, feeling dizzy or breathless etcetera.
3. Apart from having a low risk pregnancy you should
first consider the following questions before any
exercise plan is incorporated. If none of them applies
to you go can go ahead with the program with your
doctor’s approval of course!
• Are there any problems with your current pregnancy?
Did you have problems with your previous pregnancy?
• Are you a newbie or was exercise a regular feature
even before you got pregnant?
• Do you feel healthy and ready for exercise?
• Are you aware of what you can and cannot do at the
different stages of pregnancy? Are you informed of
the types of exercises you can practise and the duration
(overdoing can be a problem)
Key Benefits at a Glance
Other Benefits of Physical
Impacts the Placenta:
has a positive impact on the placenta. When the placenta
grows well this will mean baby will receive blood,
nutrients and oxygen more efficiently. Studies also
show that an increased supply of oxygen will protect
your baby during labor and delivery. Exercise helps
the placenta to grow and maintain a healthy size and
this will help the organ perform its job of supply
and elimination well. If exercise is discontinued
the placenta can decrease to normal size.
Effect on Baby:
Studies show that
some form of exercise at appropriate levels has a
positive effect on your baby e.g. the motion from
the activity can be calming for your baby. Some babies
actually fall asleep when you are doing some aerobics.
A moderate workout releases hormones that cross the
placenta and reaches the baby. Further, as mentioned
exercise improves the growth of the placenta and this
translates to an improvement in development of the
baby. Additionally mothers who exercise produce babies
with decreased amount of body fat on the baby and
increase the volume of stress tolerance. Leaner babies
do not mean low birth weight babies
Effect on Labor and Delivery:
fit during pregnancy lowers the chances of intervention
such as forceps deliveries and c-sections. Women who
have exercised regularly tended to require fewer drugs
for pain relief. Even if the above is disputed, the
general consensus remains that working out during
pregnancy helps deal equips you with the ability to
deal with the mental and physical stress of labor.
Women reportedly have better energy levels post delivery.
Getting back to the old You:
during pregnancy ensures the development of stronger
limbs, back and hips to help deal with your newborn
with greater ease after you have delivered. Having
worked out allows you to recover more rapidly once
your baby is born. Stats show that women who have
exercised are able to get back to their routines faster
than their counterparts who have not. Stats also reveal
that exercising helps you control the weight gain
to acceptable levels. Staying fit will mean having
lesser pounds to shed and what’s more, those pounds
come off more easily.