Exercising while pregnant has many benefits for both the mother and baby. Finding ways to make a consistent work-out routine a part of the nine months of preparation for baby can be just as important as shopping for nursery gear or taking childbirth classes.
Each woman is different, and each woman’s body will handle pregnancy differently. Pregnant women should talk with their doctor about what their specific health issues might be in being active during pregnancy and handle exercise with that professional advice in mind. Pregnancy can be seen as an easy excuse to not work out for nine months, but in reality staying active throughout pregnancy has profound benefits.
Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy
Exercising during pregnancy has both short and long term effects leading to a healthier pregnancy as well as an easier recovery. These benefits include a quicker recovery after delivery, promotion of sleep and easing of pregnancy fatigue, balancing of mood, and preparing the body for birth.
Quicker recovery after delivery: Maintaining fitness through the pregnancy will aid in gaining back a pre-pregnancy body after delivering the baby. Your body will be accustomed to handling the rigors of working out and therefore might be able to handle the demands of labor better. Exercising during pregnancy tends to aid in a quicker recovery after delivery.
Ease pregnancy fatigue: Exercise can help increase energy by increasing oxygen supply to the muscles and by improving circulation. Exercise during pregnancy will also aid in better sleep at night.
Balance in mood: Exercise releases endorphins, a naturally occurring mood boosting chemical. During a time when a woman’s body goes through so much change, doing something that helps to feel good and have a sense of control over the wondrous process of pregnancy can greatly benefit emotions and self-esteem.
Prepares the body for birth: Having a body with strong muscles and a strong heart can greatly benefit a woman going through the rigors of labor. Knowing how to breath through uncomfortable situations can help with pain tolerance, and the endurance developed in exercising can greatly help sustaining a long labor and delivery.
Exercise During Pregnancy is a Safe, Healthy Decision
If fatigue, multiple children, or risky pregnancy prevents you from getting adequate exercise during pregnancy, don’t worry. The human body is a fascinating creation and has a way of still getting the developing baby what it needs despite outside factors. Especially during the first trimester fatigue, it simply might not be an option to get to the gym, which is fine. Pregnancy is not a time to dwell on guilt, instead rejoice on what is growing inside.
However, there are benefits to exercise during pregnancy, especially for the mom-to-be. Some studies even show that exercise during pregnancy can reduce complications like gestational diabetes. Prenatal exercise aids in boosting a woman’s mood and helps combat difficulties of pregnancy like aches and pains. It can both prepare the body for birth and aid in recovery.