Everyone has their own birth story. . .some women are blessed with an easy 1,2,3, PUSH and baby is here! Some mamas (myself included) labor for hours and need strength, stamina, energy, and a strong core to deliver and recover post-partum. No matter which category you fall into, one thing is certain EVERY MAMA will benefit from exercise and pregnancy and even baby too! Last blog I touched on some of the reasons why you should exercise during pregnancy so let me elaborate a little more on why every pregnant mama needs to train for their due date.  

Exercise And Fetal Health

Some women are still concerned about how exercising will affect their baby, well here is a little bit of information to keep your mind at ease. Repeated studies have shown that exercise has no detrimental effects on fetal well being. Actually, evidence proves that babies born to women who were active and exercised during their pregnancies tolerated the stress of labor better! Placentas of women who exercise with regularity during their pregnancy grow faster, are often larger, stronger and function better than those women who are healthy but don’t exercise. Overall, exercise will increase strength and endurance which will especially help those mamas who have to dig deep and muster up all their strength to push baby out!

Ready For Some More Motivating Statistics?

Women who exercised throughout the duration of pregnancy experienced:

  • 35% decrease of need for pain relief
  • 75% decrease in the need for use of forceps or operative intervention (cesarean section)
  • 75% decrease in the incidence of maternal exhaustion
  • 50% decrease in the need to artificially rupture the membranes
  • 50% decrease in the need to either induce or stimulate labor with pitocin
  • 50% decrease in the need to intervene because of abnormalities in the fetal heart rate
  • 50% decrease in the need for an episiotomy

Studies also show that babies born to exercising mamas have higher APGAR (assessment of how your baby is doing at birth) scores!

What should your exercise regimen include?

Depending on your fitness level its recommended to engage in exercise 3-5 days per week and consistency is key throughout! On the days you feel tired or nauseas and would rather take a rain check, sometimes exercise will aid in your relief of these symptoms. I recommend cross training; integrate cardio, either Pilates or Yoga (these methods of exercise will strengthen your core, improve balance and flexibility) and strength training (incorporating weights will help keep your muscles strong and prepare for motherhood).

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Studies referenced in this article are from: Dr. James Clapp, Exercising Through Your Pregnancy.

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