Exercise in pregnancy is a much talked about subject with many pros and cons and lots of contrasting information being thrown around.
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.
28 thoughts on “Exercise In Pregnancy Was A Must For Me”
This is what I should of been doing! I put on 5 stone both times I was pregnant! I had to work extra hard to get it all off after!
Ha ha. It’s easier said than done. I have a love for training do enjoyed it but as for many of my friends and clients they find it more of a struggle x
Well you look great after 5 bubbas’! X
Thank you very much. I don’t feel it!! X
Interesting post. I exercised LOADS in my first pregnancy. I’d gone from being a skinny race fit cyclist weighing almost 8stone on a heavy day to being very pregnant. I stopped riding on the road but continued to go to the gym and do RPM classes, up until about week 39. I took it easy, learned to listen to my body, ate healthily and put on 3 stone in weight! I was huge. Later it turned out that I maybe had gestational diabetes … unfortunately labour didn’t go the way I wanted and I did have all sorts of interventions finishing with a c-section. I had severe PND and didn’t really start exercising regularly again for months and months. with my second I was an occasional gym goer, still had a c-section. Now I’m back to full fitness (a few years later). I think keeping active in pregnancy absolutely helps you in labour and recovery afterwards, even though for me personally things went wrong, but that was due to other reasons. Great post.
So sorry to hear that you had so many problems. Unfortunately pregnancy and childbirth is so unpredictable that all you can do is what you feel is for the best; and sometimes with the best efforts things are still taken out of your hands!!
I had panic attacks before my fourth as I felt o had been so lucky o convicted myself I would have problems as you never know what is going to happen during labour.
Hopefully if you go on to have a third you will have an easier ride of things x
I did no exercise for the couple of years before or during my first pregnancy. However I was working 17 hour days, 7 days a week (running our own pub/restaurant) on my feet for most of that time up until my waters broke (at work). I had a fairly straightforward birth, with epidural but at the end needed forceps as I struggled to push her out and her heart rate dropped.
Second time around we were no longer at the pub and I was able to work a 30 hour week during pregnancy and take a month of maternity before my due date. I hadn’t been going to the gym or exercising due to work and toddler but decided to “make time” when I was 5 months pregnant . My midwife and one of the gym staff advised on suitable gentle exercise, and I tried to go 3 times a week. Second birth I only had Gas & Air and was able to do all of the pushing myself, I’m sure due to being fitter.
That’s fantastic!! Your right I’m sure it give you the strength to get through the massively arduous task.
It’s hard work so you need to be fit to get through it x
Awesome post and so true. My wife is currently pregnant (expecting a baby girl in a little less than one month), and me being a fitness/nutrition coach, I have her on an exercise/nutrition plan. Sure, it includes some rest and recovery and some cheat meals, but it is so important to focus on being mostly healthy overall … the benefits by far outweigh the negatives. She’s more alert, never had morning sickness and is managing a healthy and steady weight gain. Great info and thanks for sharing!!!
That’s fantastic. I hope she continues to have a fantastic pregnancy and what a help to have so guidance from you.
I whole heartedly recommend exercise and also a active labour which would be hard going if you were unfit.
I will keep an eye on your blog to see how your wife gets on. Good luck 🙂
Kudos to you – 5 births! I can’t even imagine! I am still struggling with my bdy image and find myself just too busy with so many other things (twins and some other stuff, you can read about it over at my blog if you like) that I have never given it the attention / time I would like to. I want my twin pouch to go down! It’s on my to-do list! #twinklytuesdays
I will pop over and have a read now. Twins must be so hard going, my youngest two were closer than the others and I have found that hard going.
Exercise has been easy for me as I love it, diet is where I struggle as I love my food!! X
I enjoyexercise but as I work full time I am not happy about any more time away from my girls. I was tryign to run home from work again but this hasn’t been a good time. I WILL do it again! Considering the plank but currently killing myself over writing reports for my class and just been ill. Gosh… what a long line of excuses!
Ha ha not at all. So many things get in the way and we have to prioritise.
Hopefully when things settle down you can get some time back for you x
A fab post. I can only agree. I did not do any exercises during my first pregnancy and put on 20kg. The second time round I kept on power walking and swam 80 lengths until 38 weeks pregnant. I felt so much better, happier and put half of the amount on only! Thanks for linking #FitnessTuesday
So important for so many reasons. I know it can sometimes feel a struggle but you rep the benefits x
I’ve just received a release today about research that says how maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy helps mother and baby! It’s from a review published in The Cochrane Library – of 11,444 women. Really worth reading! #FitnessTuesday
That would be fascinating reading. Thank you very much x
Great advice and I’m sure encouraging to a lot of women. I was very careful with weight gain in both of my pregnancies and I’m sure this alone had some benefits, however due to severe sickness until midway through and then an odd orthostatic tachycardia at the end (which meant I couldn’t stand up!) I was unable to exercise really at all. It’s been hard each time building fitness again from nothing!
Oh no that’s such a shame. In theory it’s fantastic and if you can then it has so many benefits. The problem is pregnancy can always throw you a curve ball and put all your good intentions out of the window!
Even with all the training I do having a couple of months after the birth and the birth itself really takes its toll and it takes a good while to get into it again x
Oops #fitness tueaday
This is a great reminder! Our bodies need the exercise at all points of life for many different reasons! I didn’t exercise with any of my pregnancies and now I’m back pedaling trying to get some form of my body back! Wish i would have tried the other way around! #wineandboobs
It’s sometimes so hard to get the motivation when your pregnant but it really is worthwhile. Thank you for reading X
I definitely should have exercised more during pregnancy. I used it as an excuse to be lazy and eat more. I think I’d definitely do it differently a second time round so this is a very helpful post to keep in mind! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
So glad it was of some help. I would love to hear how you get on if you chose to exercise with number two x
Such a good point about energy! Someone should try and quantify the exercise equivalent of labour e.g 12 zumba classes or a half marathon or whatever. I think it might help ladies understand how much prep is needed!
That would be a fantastic idea. I can’t imagine what it would equate to!! X
There are the lot of benefits of exercise during the pregnancy.1,It Improves your posture 2, Promotes muscle tone & strength, and endurance and Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor