Should you exercise ‘moderately’ during your pregnancy? Yes, now you just have to find out why.
Many women who are conscious about their health usually ask their gynaecologist if they should exercise during their pregnancy. The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Look for a well-structured prenatal fitness programme to ensure that you have a healthy and easy pregnancy.
How Exercising Can Make Your Pregnancy Easier:
- Exercising before falling pregnant can reduce chances of developing some of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy.
- It can also help alleviate and even stop common pregnancy complaints, and it also reduces the likelihood of excessive weight gain.
- It’s known to facilitate delivery by strengthening the muscles needed during labour.
- After delivery, you should be able to regain your pre-pregnancy weight and shape quicker.
Any form of exercise is better than none. If you exercise at mild to moderate intensity at least three times per week, you will experience improvement in your wellbeing. You’ll also have more energy, sleep better, experience less constipation and fewer leg cramps.
Health Benefits Include:
- A reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension, or high blood pressure.
- Fewer obstetric interventions during delivery, such as forceps, or vacuum extraction.
- A reduction in the active stage of labour (the time from 4cm to 10cm dilation).
- Decreased incidences of loss of bladder control during pregnancy and postpartum.
- A reduction in bone density loss while breastfeeding.
How moderate exercise can benefit your baby:
- Your infant may be less cranky and less likely to have colic.
- Your newborn will have less body fat at birth. Some research suggests that the benefits of lower body fat may translate into reduction in the incidence of heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.
- Your children may have greater neurodevelopment scores in oral language and motor areas when tested at the age of five.
Exercising during pregnancy can prepare you for labour, one of the most intense experiences you’ll probably ever experience. Once your little one is born, all the strength you gained or maintained by taking part in prenatal fitness programmes will be useful when it comes to caring for your baby.
By Thina Mthembu