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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Weight Gain, Diet & Exercise > Benefits of Exercise (to Mother and Baby)

Benefits of Exercise (to Mother and Baby)

Exercising during pregnancy is extremely beneficial but it is important for pregnant moms to consult their doctor before starting their exercise regimen. Read on to learn more about the benefits of exercise to mother and baby.

Scientific studies hint constantly on the benefits of exercises for the baby as well as the mother in course of pregnancy. The benefits of exercises are recognised well in different communities, birthing and medical centres. Good lifestyle choices in pregnancy shall help you lead an active and healthy life after pregnancy as well.

How do I cope with the numerous discomforts of pregnancy? (Dr. Rita Shah)

You will soon realize that during pregnancy all your body functions like eating, sleeping, breathing, eliminating, walking, etc take on new dimensions, becoming a challenge for you.  These changes that occur are normal, expected and temporary.  Many of the exercises that you will learn in the antenatal classes will help in mitigating the discomfort.

Why should one exercise during pregnancy? (Dr. Rita Shah)

The exercises are aimed at the following:
  • Improving posture and appearance
  • Relieving back pain
  • Strengthening muscles for delivery and for supporting loosened joints
  • Relieving muscle cramps
  • Enhancing circulation
  • Increasing flexibility
  • Increasing energy level by combating fatigue
  • Promoting feelings of well-being and developing a positive self image

Will exercise benefit my baby?

Yes.  Exercise is extremely good for the foetus because it causes blood flow to increase and improve the baby's growth and development.  Exercise also makes the baby's brain and other tissues start functioning in optimum condition. Research has shown that hormones released during exercise cross the placenta and reach the foetus, almost like a shot of adrenaline. The adrenaline boost gives the baby an emotional lift and a surge of oxygen increases the baby's metabolism.

Endorphins that are released after exercising have a powerful tranquilizing effect on the baby.  This effect lasts for upto 8 hours.  The continuous rocking motion as a result of exercising also soothes the baby and gives it a secure and comfortable feeling.

So go ahead and exercise.  As long as you are exercising within limits and in accordance with your doctor's instructions, your baby will be fine.

You will be under wrong impression if you feel you cannot engage in life enhancing practices like exercises in pregnancy. The good habits that you develop shall also help your baby learn the same from the very early stage.

How does exercising benefits during labour and delivery

Here are some of the benefits that you can enjoy during labour and delivery by exercising regularly.
  1. You can expect to be more tolerant towards bearing pain when you are into regular exercising in pregnancy.
  2. You can enjoy more stamina for delivery and labour.
  3. Your chances of intervention in delivery reduce.
  4. Chances of a C-section reduce.
  5. Your pelvic muscle tone improves that ensures less tearing or episiotomies.

Which are the other benefits of exercising during pregnancy?

Here are some other benefits of practicing exercises during pregnancy.
  • Your immunity improves and you shall benefit your baby even when you breastfeed.
  • Your baby gets more oxygen and blood to the brain and heart that improve energy level and concentration.
  • You can keep at bay problems like gestational diabetes with regular exercises.
  • You can expect to recover faster after the delivery.
  • You can also take better care of problems like insomnia, anxiety, stress and enjoy better sleep patterns. You can also reduce chances of getting into depression with regular exercises.
  • Development of a larger placenta shall mean better flow of CO2 and oxygen, better transport of waste products and nutrients.
  • Your baby develops a better cardiovascular system.

What is the significance of exercising during pregnancy?

Let us take a look the significance of exercising during pregnancy.

Giving Birth to Healthy Babies

Healthy moms are known to give birth to healthy, strong, smart babies with better functioning and motor skills. These children are also known to be less proneto develop diseases like diabetes, obesity or other lifestyle diseases.

Acting as a Good Role Model

If you follow healthy lifestyle practices, you depict good self-care values and thus act as positive role models for your children.

Improving Overall Pregnancy Health

Gone are those days when pregnancy was looked upon as an illness when the mother had to protect herself and her baby. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1985 came out with certain guidelines that stated the importance exercises in pregnancy. Today doctors stress continuously on the importance of some sorts of activities or exercises every day in pregnancy.

Protecting the Baby

Exercises today have become a boon for the expecting mothers in pregnancy. Research studies also hint on the benefits the baby enjoys in the womb when a mother exercises regularly in pregnancy. Your exercise routine actually turns into a protective shield that protects her from the health problems in the future.

What are precautions should be taken while exercising during pregnancy?

Pregnant mothers should never do any high impact exercises and lifting heavy weights as they can harm the mother as well as the baby. They should never do exercises which involve practising difficult postures.

It is very important that you look for warning signs while exercising in pregnancy. You should stop exercising and let your doctor know when you experience symptoms such as bleeding, contractions, water break, tiredness, chest pain, abdominal pain or any other discomfort in pregnancy. You must also consult your doctor before you start your exercise regimen and practice exercise under the supervision of a certified trainer.

If you still have questions about exercise and its effects in pregnancy and labour you can always get in touch with your midwife or doctor. Apart from exercises, you must also make it a point to eat healthy and a balanced diet.

Is it necessary to exercise during pregnancy? Which exercises should be practised during pregnancy? What kind of exercises should be avoided during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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radhika.8 years ago
i had vaginal bleeding in the 7 month& the u/s showed 1cm placental separation.i am due on 12.2.2006. the doctor has advised bed it possible to do some less strenuous exercises?
reena.8 years ago
i am in 7th month (28th week).
i have never exercised so far except walking occasionally.
now i have back pain daily.....
can i start exercising now? can i join classes.....or is it too late?
pari.8 years ago
i m 7 and half month pregnent. i want to know that which exercises can be helpful to reduce the labour pain during delievery.. my all reports r normal....and want to have a normal delievery... plz help me..
mini syed.8 years ago
yoga is the best exercise to do while your pregnant
and if you are having problems you can still do yoga lightly.
join a class and ask what’s better for you
ask your doctor for suggestions!
radha.8 years ago
hi,i am in first month pregnent i want to no the excirsise and food food.
jaya.8 years ago
i am 7 month pregnant can i do some work like dress washing, cooking, weeping,floor washing etc.
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