During my first pregnancy I had very little information on the benefits of exercise and just followed the age old rule of eating for two and putting your feet up. I gained quite a lot of weight and had a seventeen hour labour which resulted in a forceps and ventouse delivery.
With my second and third I was much more careful with my diet, swam a few times a week and walked regularly. These deliveries were a lot shorter and were much more straightforward with little pain relief.
I was convinced that keeping active during pregnancy was a factor in this and from here I grew a passion for the subject and went back to college to retrain as a personal trainer specialising in pre and antenatal exercise.
I found the training fascinating and went on to open my own personal training company geared towards mummy’s and mummy’s to be.
During this time I have had another two children with great pregnancies and good labours. I even managed to have a water birth with my last which is not normally allowed as there are higher risks with your fifth labour.
Here are few benefits of keeping fit and healthy whist carrying your precious cargo.
Smaller Weight Gain
Let’s face it one of the things we all dread during pregnancy is putting on to much weight. You should not be training to lose weight during this time but keeping it stable during your pregnancy will make it much easier to get back into shape after the birth.
Keeps Your Enery levels Up
Pregnancy can really take its toll on you and the last thing you probably want to do is get up and start jumping yourself around, but even twenty minutes of raising your heart rate can give you a real burst of energy for the rest of the day.
Less Likely To Need Intervention During Labour
You are 75% less likely to need the use of forceps and 55% less likely to have to have an episiotomy; which lets face it we would all rather avoid.
Give You the Energy To Get Through Labour
I’m sure if you signed yourself up for a marathon you would never think about going into it with no training. Well labour is called that for a reason. It’s a long hard slog that takes both mental and physical energy. You need the strength to get yourself through it.
Keep Those Happy Hormones Flowing
Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy! What could you need more when you’ve had a hard day and things are taking there toll.
Reduce The Risk Of Gestational Diabetes
Your can reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes by up to 27%. This is a condition during pregnancy that can cause problems for both mother and baby; so if it can be avoided by getting up and exercising a little everyday it is so worth it.
To me exercise is as important during your pregnancy as your midwife check ups and antenatal classes. It offers so much that it really shouldn’t be over looked.
If you are already a regular exerciser then it is fine to continue your usual routine and for those of you that are not active it’s never to late. It’s not advisable to start a new exercise program whilst pregnant but gentle exercise such a walking and swimming are completely fine and if nothing else give you some much needed me time.