Exercise During Pregnancy | Health Eagle

Exercise During Pregnancy

by Gumer Liston June 2nd, 2009 | Exercise, Health News, Health Research, Women's Health
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picIs exercise good for pregnant women? You may think that because pregnancy brings a lot of changes in the body of a woman, exercise may not be advisable for those who are pregnant. But a new study shows that a well-designed exercise program could be beneficial for both the mother and the baby inside her.

Dr. Raul Artal, chairman of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health for the Saint Louis University School of Medicine says that women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to develop conditions like gestational diabetes. Dr. Artal also says that “exercise maintains musculoskeletal fitness and women can cope with the anatomical and physiological changes of pregnancy better when they’re in good shape. Women who exercise can also tolerate labor better and recover more quickly from delivery as compared to those who do not exercise.”

But it is not only the mother who benefits from exercise, the baby also gets something very good out of the mother’s exercise. The baby reaps cardiac benefits in the form of lower fetal heart rates every time the mother works out. A 30 minute session of moderate exercise each day is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But a pregnant woman must first seek the advice of her doctor before doing any kind of exercise.

“A lot of things depend on the level of fitness a woman had before her pregnancy,” Dr. Thomas Wang, a family practitioner for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, said. An expectant mother should see to it that the kind of exercise she will do will give her a good level of exertion but not too much that it tests her pregnant body’s limits. “Anything that involves impact or the chance of abdominal trauma, they should try to avoid,” Dr. Wang explained.

The best exercise that a pregnant woman could pursue is any one of the following: walking, light dancing, and light swimming. Exercise that involves the risk of falling should be avoided.

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