Pregnancy & the first 6-12 months after birth are crucial times when it comes to exercise! There are many benefits of pre & post natal exercise, both for mother & baby, but it is essential that exercise during this time is done correctly. Not all trainers have the qualifications needed to safely train pre & post natal women, nor do all trainers understand the necessary modifications needed to make exercise extremely beneficial, instead of harmful or how to safely work around various pregnancy related issues. At Your Best Yet, you can rest assured as you are trained by an experienced Mum with the knowledge & Qualifications.
Ask your mother’s group & come & do a 6 session Post Natal course together!
Studies by Clapp et al. revealed the following benefits of exercise to expectant mums:
* Reduced weight gain during pregnancy, especially in the second half of pregnancy, including the deposition and retention of less body fat.
* Weight still within a normal & healthy range.
* Fewer pregnancy discomforts and symptomatology.
* More rapid physical and emotional recovery post-birth (twice as fast).
* Multiple positive labour benefits, such as a shorter and less complicated labour, as well as:
– 35% decrease in the need for pain relief
– 75%decrease in the incidence of maternal exhaustion, through increased breathing efficiency
– 50% decrease in the need to artificially rupture the membranes
– 50% decrease in the need to either induce or stimulate labour with pitocin
– 50% decrease in the need to intervene because of abnormalities in foetal heart rate
– 55% decrease in the need for an episiotomy
– 75% decrease in the need for operative intervention (either forceps delivery or caesarean section)
– Length of labour more than a third shorter in women who continued to exercise through to full term, compared to those who didn’t.
* The combination of exercise and pregnancy has a greater training effect than that produced by training alone, including increased muscle strength & circulation benefits.
* Increased in energy levels, positive attitude and self-esteem.
* Lower incidence of respiratory tract infection.
* Decreased likelihood of varicose veins, haemorrhoids, pregnancy-induced diabetes, and low back pain.
* More restful sleep and less exhaustion.
* Improved posture.
* Improved digestion and elimination (helps to prevent constipation).
The benefits of exercise for the baby of exercising mothers, can include:
* Babies are less vulnerable to usual stresses of later pregnancy and labour.
* Improved ability to deal effectively with intermittent reductions in uterine blood flow and oxygen delivery. This means there is an additional protection in the event of unanticipated maternal stresses, specifically during serious traumatic injury, medical emergencies and/or other complications during labour.
* Lowered incidence of umbilical cord entanglement.
* Lowered incidence of stress-induced meconium output during labour.
* They tend to be lighter and leaner than babies born to non-exercising mothers, but not underweight or premature.
* Later in life, offspring from exercising mothers show lower risks of premature death, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
During pregnancy calcium is leeched from the bones, so bone density in pregnant women decreases; so much so that sometimes, after birth, many women can be classified as borderline osteoporotic. On top of this, bone mineral loss is rapid during the first few months of breastfeeding. Therefore, it’s extremely important for pregnant women to strengthen their muscles in order to stress the bones and hence stimulate the laying down of bone.Aside from enhancing muscle endurance and strength, weight training also helps improve function for daily life (e.g. lifting children, hanging out washing, carrying shopping etc). Resistance training has been shown to improve bone density, improve coordination and balance, and improve overall muscle mass, which contributes to an increase in base metabolic rate.
So, as you can see exercise during pregnancy (with your doctor’s approval) is a great decision for you & your baby!