Thursday, March 31, 2011

Staying Fit During Pregnancy

     I've been trying to do a lot of research on staying fit while pregnant (for obvious reasons) and so I decided I'd do some posts on just that, staying fit while pregnant. Before I jump right in I'd like to make note that you need to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program because every woman's situation is different and there may be some things that are safe for some and not for others. I would also like to point out that because your body changes so much during pregnancy it is important to keep in mind that because of certain hormones present in high levels in your body, ligaments become much more relaxed and are subject to injury much easier than they were before, and your balance is compromised, especially later on during your pregnancy. Also, pregnant women should not lay flat on their backs past 20 weeks and should never assume and inverted position during exercise (where your head is below your heart) so you may have to modify some exercises that you normally have done in the past. Please listen to your body, check with your doctor, and stop exercising right away if you experience abnormal pregnancy symptoms.

     For a very long time it was thought that pregnant women should not be active at all or they were putting themselves and their babies at risk. Fortunately it was discovered that this was not true at all and was in fact, the opposite. Women are now being encouraged more and more to be active during pregnancy. This answers the question then, is exercise safe during pregnancy? And the answer is a loud and clear, YES!

     The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (hereafter known as ACOG) has stated that if you were active before there are few modifications you need to make during your exercise now. They've also come out with a statement saying that if you were not active before becoming pregnant, now is a great time to start. This is wonderful news because it means that if you're not active now, or not as active as you'd like to be, pregnancy in no way means you're doomed to nine months of further inactivity and health issues associated with inactivity. Now is a perfect time to make the lifestyle change and live a healthier, and more active lifestyle for you and your baby. For ACOG's educational pamphlet on exercise during pregnancy, click here.

     Along with staying strong and healthy during pregnancy, keeping fit can help ease the pains of labor and delivery. Don't get me wrong, it's still going to hurt, but your body will be more prepared to take on this natural challenge that our bodies were made to take on and your recovery will be so much easier. I'm a huge fan of natural childbirth and was able to birth my first child naturally (I'm aiming for that again this time) and I give all the credit to exercise. Through exercise I was able to prepare my body for what it was made to do. If natural childbirth is not your cup of tea, exercise will still help you to have a shorter labor, an easier delivery, and a smoother recovery (and there is no epidural for recovery so you're on your own on that one, better to be prepared with a fit body that is ready to handle it).

     I'm really excited to share my experiences with you on staying fit during pregnancy (and I'm working on guest posters to add their experiences to mine as well) and please stay tuned for some great workouts that are safe for pregnancy and will help you to prepare your body for the day when you're little cutie pie makes it's grand entrance into the world!

No comments:

Post a Comment