Getting moving at the beginning of your pregnancy will be a huge benefit to you and your baby from day one. Here’s a quick list of reasons to start exercising today and make your pregnancy all the easier:
- You’re likely to gain less weight. During pregnancy, a woman of average weight should expect to gain 25-35 pounds during the entire duration of their pregnancy. Researchers discovered that women who exercise regularly throughout their pregnancy put on about 7 pounds less than women who don’t. Exercise in water can help prevent excessive weight gain in the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
- Labor and delivery may be easier. While it’s not guaranteed, having stronger core muscles as well as a strong pelvic floor gives you more power while pushing. Plus, you will increase your ability to endure labor pains. “One study found that prenatal water aerobics regulars were 58 percent less likely to request pain medication during labor than non-exercisers.”*
- You are less likely to have major back pain. Over 66 percent of women experience back pain during pregnancy but many of them have found that water workouts, yoga and pelvic tilts can offer relief especially during the second trimester.
- You have more energy. Exercise releases endorphins into your brain causing a surge of “happy” and giving you a sense of renewed energy. Even a 10 minute walk can wake up your brain and your aching muscles.
- You may be less prone to morning sickness. Nausea can stop the best of us from exercising but add a baby rolling around in there and it can seem pretty impossible. Luckily, many moms-to-be have actually reported they feel “less queasy after a workout or that the exercise takes their minds off the nausea for a short time.”*
- You’ll bounce back faster after delivery. You will find that childbirth can be difficult on the body as well as the mind but compared to new moms who were inactive during their pregnancy, those who exercised more are more likely to gain their figure back as well as being more social and healthier mentally while adjusting to new motherhood.
- Your child can have a healthier heart. The health of the mother before and during pregnancy is directly correlated with the health of the baby even into their childhood years. Women who are active and have a healthy heart themselves pass on their health physically as well as a healthy mental attitude which can both affect adolescent health.
- Sleep will come easier. During pregnancy, you are constantly expensing energy towards growing a mini human. Many women notice fatigue while pregnant but women who are active find that they “fall asleep faster, slumber more soundly and snooze longer than inactive moms-to-be.”*
- You’re more likely to avoid prenatal depression. Postpartum depression is a real issue many new mothers experience but prenatal depression is a less talked about issue. As mentioned above, exercise releases endorphins giving you a sense of “happy”. This is especially true if you are exercising outdoors as the sunlight has Vitamin D which can be a natural antidepressant.
- Your immune system will thank you. Physical activity can help to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This will reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes changes white blood cells which fight infection in the body.
Exercise is always important but especially while pregnant. Keeping active is an essential part of your pregnancy care and will help your mind and body to be at its absolute best for your new little bundle of joy.
The Vancouver Birthright Team