As long as mama is healthy and cleared to exercise during pregnancy, research shows there are numerous benefits not only for mom, but also for baby while in utero. However, as pregnancy develops and your body changes, you may need to make adjustments in the type, duration and level of exertion of your exercise. You should reduce the level of exertion to what feels most comfortable to you- minimizing pain and maintaining conversational breathing. For mamas who did not exercise prior to becoming pregnant, you can still safely begin an exercise regime while pregnant (and start ASAP!).
Regular exercise throughout pregnancy can help mom adjust to weight gain and hormonal changes, including relief from muscle strain, improved posture and decreased back pain, as well as battling the endless fatigue commonly experienced in pregnancy.
Let's discuss [some of the] key benefits for mama:
An estimated 1 in 2 of all women report an increase in depression or anxiety while pregnant. But research has found that exercise during pregnancy releases endorphins that help improve mood while diminishing stress and anxiety.
Try new activities: Pregnancy is prime time for expanding your workout horizons. If you normally do a lot of biking, which is a no-no during pregnancy, you can try an activity you wouldn’t normally do instead, like hiking, lifting weights or taking a prenatal yoga class.
EASE ACHES + PAINS
Growing a baby puts extra pressure on your lower half, resulting in lower back pain and an achy pelvis. Strengthening your core and hips, however, may result in less lower-back and pelvic pain during late pregnancy.
Back pain: Back pain is a well-known side effect of pregnancy and physical activity like yoga can help bring you relief. Be sure to not over-stretch, as an amazing hormone called relaxin makes your joint more flexible.
Fight off pelvic pain: Working with a physical therapist or prenatal exercise specialist to treat or prevent pelvic floor issues during pregnancy can make all the difference as your uterus continues to grow and put more pressure on the pelvis. *Note: I offer 1:1 sessions to improve the health of your pelvic floor before, during and after pregnancy.
IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH
Let's name a few: reduces risk of gestational diabetes, balances blood pressure (a risk factor for preeclampsia), improves sleep, relieves constipation, and speeds up postpartum recovery.
Gestational diabetes: Weight gain and inactivity during pregnancy set the stage for gestational diabetes for some mothers-to-be. Exercise can help control weight gain that could lead to GD. In addition, prenatal exercise can help lower blood sugar if you do develop gestational diabetes, potentially eliminating the need for insulin injections.
Better sleep: Quality sleep is so important for both you and baby during pregnancy. Sleep helps your body handle all the physical and emotional changes, prevents exhaustion, and keep your mind from getting overly frazzled.
Constipation: Prenatal vitamins and hormonal changes can lead to constipation. Exercise is super helpful in getting things moving again.
Lower blood pressure: Preeclampsia could lead to big problems in your pregnancy if you develop it. Research shows that you can lower your risk for this complication by exercising three to five times a week.
& BABY BENEFITS
It makes sense that if mom is healthier during pregnancy by getting regular exercise, then baby will also reap some major health benefits.
Birth weight: Exercise lowers mama’s blood sugar and cuts down on the risk of birthing a high birth weight baby. Large for gestation babies increase the risk of cesarean, NICU visits, and even heel pricks for your baby.
Brainpower: It may seem hard to believe but 20 minutes of exercise three days a week can boost your child’s brain activity. That’s worth the struggle to tie your shoes! *Note: Our Prenatal Studio classes are 15-45 minutes in length for a reason! Start moving for only $20/month!
Stronger immune system: Your baby’s immune system will also benefit from regular exercise during pregnancy, just like your's will too!
Are you ready to get moving, mama??
The virtual Prenatal Studio is the support you need to build strength, stamina & stability throughout your pregnancy. Check it out! You get unlimited on-demand strength, yoga and meditation classes for only $20/month- no contract, and 1-click cancellation... if you must.