Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits Mom & Baby
An increasing amount of research is coming to the forefront showing the relationship between exercise and the health of expecting mothers and their baby. The benefits of increasing physical activity before and during pregnancy begin instantly and can play a significant role in your health for the rest of your life.
Shorter Labor & Easier Delivery
Some small studies have shown that women who exercise regularly are 58% less likely to request pain medication. Regular exercisers are 75% less likely to need a forceps delivery and four times less likely to have a C-section. Also, women who trained consistently during their pregnancy have, on average, two hours less of labor.
Less Weight Gain & Lower Gestational Diabetes Risk
Weight gain is inevitable, but research has shown that women who regularly exercise during pregnancy gain seven fewer pounds, on average, than those who do not exercise. An increase in blood sugar during pregnancy puts mothers at an exceedingly high risk for developing type II diabetes in the years to follow delivery AND raises the odds of delivering an overweight baby.
Increased Energy & Decreased Back Pain
Water resistance exercise, yoga, Pilates, and pelvic tilts can offer relief of low back pain during pregnancy. Exercising during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters can be particularly helpful in both limiting back discomfort and increasing energy.
A Baby With a Healthier Body Weight
Babies who come out of the womb overweight and with excess fat are significantly more likely to become overweight adolescents and teenagers. Additionally, if you have gestational diabetes, your baby has an increased chance of developing diabetes in their life.
Improved Cardiovascular Function for Mother & Baby
Developing babies of prenatal exercisers have more efficient hearts in comparison to the children of mothers who do not exercise. Cardiac output increases by about 50% during the first trimester. This is an opportunity for the mother to improve cardiovascular fitness levels once cleared for exercise.
Decreased Risk of Premature Birth
Preeclampsia is a complication involving high blood pressure and excess protein in urine. About 5-8% of pregnant women develop this and it is the number one cause of premature birth. A safe exercise routine could help prevent this.
Avoiding Prenatal Depression
12-20% of women experience depression, which results in relationship issues, poor sleep, and possible marital problems after delivery. Getting into an exercise routine will significantly decrease the risk of prenatal depression.
Increased Intelligence in Your Child
Research has indicated that children whose mothers exercise during pregnancy have improved memory and higher scores on intelligence and language tests.
Improved Immune System
Walking and moderate exercise can cut your risk of catching an illness when pregnant in half.
The goal, while pregnant, is to maintain your current fitness routine. Increasing physical fitness levels is not recommended for pregnant mothers. Thus, it’s important to start a physical fitness program prior to becoming pregnant. Strengthening the lungs and heart will improve your stamina and improve the health of your fetus. Water resistance and strength training can help with decreasing stress on the joints and improve muscle strength. Yoga and Pilates are also highly recommended for strengthening the entire body, especially the core, and helping the body relax.
Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about how to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. You can reach us at 1 203.373.1200 or 1 855.CFABABY (Toll Free). We look forward to speaking with you.