THIS is Why You Want to Stay Active During Pregnancy
- Posted on: Jun 30 2017
Pregnancy is an exciting time of change. There are so many things to think about that it may take a while for a mother-to-be to get her bearings. We are here to support our patients in their journey toward motherhood. Our experienced team of physicians and midwives offer support in all facets of pregnancy, including general health and wellness. Here, we want to point out the reasons why the idea that a pregnant woman should not exercise could be chalked up to an old wives’ tale.
One of the best resources for scientific data related to women’s health and wellness is The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology or ACOG. This organization has developed a comprehensive set of guidelines centered on the value of exercise during pregnancy. Currently, the general recommendation is that pregnant women exercise 30-minutes or more each day, most days of her pregnancy.
Benefits of exercise for pregnant women include:
- Muscle strengthening supports good posture as the body changes.
- Good sleep, mood, and energy are supported.
- The risk of gestational diabetes is reduced.
- Common complaints such as swelling, bloating, constipation, and backache are reduced.
- Building endurance can support the delivery process.
Going Against the Grain
Due to the natural changes that pregnancy causes, it is understandable why women in past generations have been advised to take it easy. In preparation for childbirth, the pregnant body produces a hormone called relaxin. As it sounds, this hormone enables the joints and ligaments to become less tightly wound. The greater the laxity of these structures, the greater the risk of injury (the risk is not very high). Add in the fact that a growing belly throws off the center of gravity and places increased stress on the low back, and it is easy to see why exercise may feel as if it simply goes against the grain.
Keep it Fit, Keep it Safe
Women who are pregnant can engage in a number of fun fitness activities. These include riding a bike, swimming or doing prenatal water aerobics, walking, and even light strength training. In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of pregnant women engage in prenatal yoga, as well. What women are encouraged to avoid are activities in which there is a high risk of falling. These include skiing of any kind, contact sports, and horseback riding.
Fitness and nutrition are topics of discussion during routine prenatal care. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Posted in: Obstetrics