Bun in the oven. Bat in the cave. Swallowed a watermelon seed. With child. Any way you want to say it, you’re pregnant. Here’s the catch, just because your life and body are about to change month by month and eventually day by day, doesn’t mean your workout regime needs too! I’ve talked to many women over the last couple months that think that because they’re pregnant, or want to become pregnant, they can’t do anything further with exercising. That my friends is an old tale, and one I’m about to provide a little more insight on.
Exercising while pregnant creates so many benefits not only to you but to the baby as well.
- Decrease in Stress During Labour: This applies to both mom and baby. As you exercise the baby’s heart rate will increase as yours does. It will also slow to its normal resting heart rate within 10 minutes after you finish exercising. By keeping your cardiac and strength endurance up it will decrease the levels of stress put on the baby and yourself during active labour. You will be better able to control your contractions thus providing lower levels of tension on the baby during an already stressful process. The baby is more likely to be “calmer” and maintain a healthy heart rate during active labour.
- Increases Strength: Yes it seems like a given but there are areas you may not have thought of. The average woman will gain a healthy 25-35lbs over the course of their pregnancy. That’s a lot of extra weight for your legs to be carrying, not to mention your lower back, shoulders (from the weight of increased breast size) and neck. The key to exercising while pregnant is to make these discomforts comfortable. It’s also to help decrease the strain your body will start to endure while holding an 8lb crying baby for an hour, or lifting their car seats in and out of the car while carrying a baby bag. Studies have shown that women who exercise while pregnant experience less discomforts, aches and pains, and feel energized throughout the 40+ weeks.
- Does Not Affect Fertility or Pregnancy: There are misconceptions that exercise can lead to the inability to conceive or it can create complications during pregnancy. Unless your doctor has given you orders to NOT exercise, there has been little conclusive research to link miscarriages, infertility and complications during pregnancy to exercising. True, if you have a predisposed health condition or develop one during pregnancy your doctor will advise you of your best course of action at that point. But if everything is running smoothly you’re free you work out at the same pace and intensity as before you were pregnant right up until your water breaks!
- Promotes Healthy Weight Gain: Many women I have talked to are concerned about their post-baby weight, or scared of what lies ahead once they deliver. The key things to remember here are, you are not eating for two. Your baby will receive all the nutrients it needs if you are eating a clean and healthy balanced diet with the recommend increase in calories (which is only 300!). Though weight loss should NOT be a goal, that does not mean that you can’t maintain your fitness level and control your weight gain at healthy levels. Let’s face it, you will gain weight, but you don’t have to turn into Veruca Salt as a blueberry! Women tend to be happier with their post-natal weight if they are taking care of their body and health during their pre-natal stages.
If pre and post natal exercise is important to you, talk to your doctor and let them know you wish to continue with your exercise regime. When they have given you the “OK”, we will gladly Royally kick your butt so you can feel like the sexiest, healthiest and strongest Mom around!
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,