From the second of conception your body starts changing. Even though it’s natural for your body to change during pregnancy it’s important to stay in control of those changes. In order to do that and maintain your strength for labor and motherhood you will need an appropriate exercise regime.
Many women do not exercise during pregnancy for fear it will harm their baby. However, much of the precautionary advice floating around about pregnancy has actually panned out to be nothing more than old wive’s tales.
Exercising is not only appropriate during pregnancy, but it’s also healthy and necessary for you and your baby. A sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Gestational diabetes happens when your body can no longer use the glucose (sugar intake from fruits and snacks) for energy and instead the glucose ends up stuck in your blood building up to unhealthy levels.
Gestational diabetes can lead to your baby becoming overweight because the extra sugar in the blood stream is being carried to the baby through the placenta. The baby then ends up storing all that extra energy the same way we do… as fat!
Overweight babies are not only more difficult to birth for the mother, but the baby can get damaged during birth as well, especially in the shoulder area. Research has also shown that overweight babies have a higher risk of struggling with their weight their entire life.
Women with gestational diabetes are also at risk for pre-eclampsia. The main symptom of pre-eclampsia is high blood pressure. The escalation in blood pressure creates many complications for mother and baby including organ failure, strokes, and even death for mother and/or baby.
Now that you know some of the scary things that can happen if you don’t exercise while pregnant, here are some positive benefits of exercising during pregnancy. First of all, exercise is a big stress reliever. All expectant mothers feel stressed at some time or another during their pregnancy, whether it be for financial reasons, or because your spouse has decided to put on ‘pregnancy weight’ as well. Exercising can give you the stress relief you need to stay psychologically healthy during pregnancy.
Exercise will also give you more energy. Carrying around an extra thirty pounds is draining. Exercise can actually boost your stamina and strengthen your muscles.
Many women during pregnancy report various aches. Stretching before and after exercising is one of the best therapeutic tools you have to relieve bodily aches and keep them from coming back.
Most important, exercise will prevent you from any overweight related conditions, such as the life threatening conditions previously stated.
Now that you know why you should exercise, you’re probably wondering what types of exercises you should do. Its true pregnancy will change the type of exercises available to you. Primarily you should stick to either low-impact or no-impact exercises such as thirty minutes of walking or swimming.
As with any exercise regime, please consult with your doctor before starting to exercise and call the doctor if anything feels uncomfortable.