Thursday, March 24, 2011

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy: Helping Keep Mom & Baby Healthy

Exercise during pregnancy can be one of the most beneficial things an expectant mom can do for herself and for her unborn baby. Although going to a walk, swimming or running may be the last thing on an expectant mom's mind, it's recommended by the American College of Obstetrics that expecting mothers get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily. Moderate intensity exercise includes a light jog, brisk walk, swimming laps, riding an elliptical machine, climbing on a stair stepper or riding a stationary bike. Many moms fear exercise during pregnancy because they think it may put the baby's health at risk, cause premature delivery or miscarriage. It's exactly quite the opposite. Exercise during pregnancy has plenty of benefits for both mom and baby!
Shorter Labor & DeliveryOne of the many benefits moms that exercise during pregnancy have is a shorter amount of time in labor and delivery. Delivering a baby is no easy task and moms need to be prepared both mentally and physically. Moms that exercise prior to delivery, both while pregnant and before becoming pregnant, have much more endurance during labor and delivery.
Lower Chance of Delivery by C Section Because an expecting mom that has been exercising has more endurance, it is likely she'll require less medical intervention to deliver the baby during birth. This may help avoid a C section in situations when mom gets too tired to push after several hours of labor. Since exercise during pregnancy is also thought to be beneficial for the baby, it may also give the baby more endurance to make it through the birth canal without needed assistance out. Many times, forceps, a vacuum or a c section are necessary because baby is in distress from such a long labor. A mom who exercises may be able to prevent this.
Lower Risk of Preeclampsia & Gestational DiabetesPreeclampsia is a condition that causes high blood pressure in pregnant women, amongst other symptoms such as swelling, headaches, sudden weight gain and changes in vision. Gestational Diabetes is pregnancy induced diabetes that can cause pregnancy complications as well as a long term risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Both are illnesses that, according to the American Heart Association and several studies done by Harvard Medical school, can be avoided with vigorous exercise prior to pregnancy and at light to moderate exercise during pregnancy.
Lower Risk of Postpartum Depression It's well known that exercise releases endorphins, improves mood and provides additional energy. The same is true for expecting moms who may feel like they hardly have enough energy to make it from the bedroom to the kitchen. Exercise during pregnancy can improve mood and give an expecting mom more energy to be able to handle the many things she needs to do before baby arrives. Since exercise also help keep her in shape and control her weight, it will also help her get back into shape quicker after delivery. Many moms feel depressed and unattractive after delivery but those that exercised have reported feeling happier with their bodies and less apt to experience symptoms of depression.

Strengthen Your Hear and Baby's Heart When a new mom works out, her heart benefits and so does her baby's. In general, people that exercise have lower resting heart rates. The same goes for expecting moms and their fetus. Ten women participated in a study at the Department of Anatomy at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-sciences. Out of the ten women, half exercised during pregnancy and half did not. During pregnancy, both groups had the fetal movements such as breathing, body and mouth movements monitored and recorded from 6 months up until delivery. The researchers found significantly lower heart rates among fetuses whose mothers exercised throughout the study period. The heart rates among the fetuses whose mothers did not exercise were higher, regardless of fetal activity or gestational age.
A Healthier Child A study published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics found that women who were obese in early pregnancy more than double their child's risk of being obese as preschoolers. Children who are obese early on in life are often obese through childhood and adulthood. This increases their chance of suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems and many more health issues.
So, although you may not feel like running a marathon when expecting, squeezing in 30-45 minutes of exercise on most days of the week can be the best thing you do for you and your baby. Not only will it help you enjoy the long 9 month weight and make it more comfortable but it will provide life long health benefits for your baby as well. I exercised at a moderate intensity level every day of my pregnancy and wouldn't have done it any other way. It helped my baby and I make it through 23 hours of labor with no problems, helped m
e get my body back within weeks and has helped my daughter be the healthiest baby I could ever ask for!

No comments:

Post a Comment