Note: This article contains affiliate links (hyperlinks, widgets, or through images), which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
Pregnancy is a time that includes a series of emotions for every woman. There is the joy of becoming a mother but also constant distress about health complications. Many people consider pregnancy to be a time of relaxation for women. However, while many women might have considerably less workload during the nine-month tenure, it doesn’t make childbearing an easy task.
A woman’s body goes through several physical, mental, and hormonal transformations, forcing many new adaptations. These adaptations can cause mood swings, constant backaches, irregular sleep patterns, and even psychological changes in pregnant women.From lower odds of complications to better sleep, there are many reasons to exercise throughout your pregnancy — for both you and baby! Click To Tweet
Pregnancy is a conflicting stage when it comes to decisions concerning a mother and fetal health.
These decisions might be associated with everyday activities like what to eat and what to avoid. Or even more serious concerns like whether to opt for standard delivery or a C-section?
If opting for normal delivery, do you want an epidural or wish to deliver drug-free? However, if you’re going to deliver entirely naturally, home birth might be your best option.
If you opt for home birth, make sure you hire reliable and qualified midwives for your delivery. You wouldn’t want any mishandling during such a complicated and life-changing process. Consider hiring midwives with proper educational background, preferably a terminal degree in nursing, and relevant experience in the field for a safe and successful procedure.
However, in many cases, such decisions can be stressful and take a toll on your health. Physical activity can be your solution to keep your health intact while going through physiological and psychological transformations during all three stages.
Asking pregnant women to indulge in exercises might sound strange at first, considering that they are supposed to rest during such a sensitive time. But, you will be surprised to find out the benefits physical activity yields during pregnancy—some of which we have discussed below.
Exercising During Pregnancy Can Deter Diseases
One of the biggest fears during pregnancy is getting diagnosed with diseases that can severely deteriorate your health and impact your child’s health. Such illnesses include obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. More serious diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis are also a threat.
Such illnesses can be quite concerning. For instance, high blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the placenta and restrict your baby’s nutrient and oxygen inflow. Similarly, osteoarthritis can lead to numbness and pain in the knees and legs, making walking difficult for pregnant women.
Luckily, regular physical activity and exercise can immensely limit the diagnosis of such diseases. A daily routine can strengthen muscles and relieve joint pain. It can reduce the force on your arteries, decreasing your blood pressure and making your heart stronger.
Physical activity can also nourish your immune system, hence preventing cancer and other such fatal illnesses.
Physical Activity in Pregnancy Improves Sleep
Irregular sleeping conditions are the most common side-effect of pregnancy. Fluctuating hormone levels, growing baby bump, and hunger frequently cause insomnia during pregnancy. Sleep patterns are likely to worsen during the third trimester due to excessive weight gain, general discomfort, and back pain.
Such sleeping issues can result in abnormal daytime sleepiness and fatigue. It can also cause frequent headaches and sleep apnea.
Many women even struggle with heartburn due to irregular sleeping habits. Depression and anxiety are also outcomes of insomnia, leading to alarming mental health issues.
A routine exercise can tremendously improve your sleeping pattern and prevent the effectiveness of any such concerns. Exercise is a drug-free treatment for people facing sleeping issues.
The general idea behind associating workouts with sleeping is that exercise tires you out. You need more rest than usual. As a result, your night’s sleep improves and helps relieve all the tiredness.
According to experts, low-intensity workout during pregnancy has positive effects on sleep. Regular exercise can improve sleeping habits and make expecting mothers feel better.
Being an Active Pregnant Mom Helps Fight Mental Illnesses
Reports show that one in five women face some mental health issue during or after pregnancy. Illnesses such as depression, stress, and anxiety take place due to woman’s constant worries about:
- Becoming a mother and the lifestyle alterations it will cause
- Fear of childbirth
- Pregnancy complications
- The struggle of being alone
- Fear of not being a good parent
Such thoughts are common and completely fine to worry about. However, they become concerned when women start taking too much stress, which ultimately affects their health.
Research proves that a certain level of exercise can be quite beneficial in preventing depression and anxiety during pregnancy. Physical activity has the capability of releasing endorphins that inflate your well-being.
It is also a great way to remove any negative thoughts from your mind.
Additionally, regular workouts can increase your chances of making new friends and socializing with others. It helps you gain confidence and cope with your stress and anxiety in a more effective way.
Regular Activity in Pregnancy Improves Your Baby’s Health
Physical activity does yield a positive effect on your health and your unborn child’s health. Several doctors and experts attest that exercise during pregnancy can tremendously help keep your baby healthy.
Physical activity is said to boost your baby’s brain health by a considerable percentage. A routine workout during pregnancy makes your child less prone to obesity and diabetes in the future.
Researchers also found out that physical activity during pregnancy helped lower the fetus’ heart rate. Studies claim that aerobic activities have the same positive effects on babies as they have on their mothers. Expecting women who exercise regularly are more likely to give birth to babies with less body fat.
In short, women involved in regular workout regimes during their pregnancy have a higher chance of giving birth to a healthier child than women who do not exercise.
It is well-established that physical activity during pregnancy has beneficial effects for both the expecting mother and the fetus. However, it would help if you remain precautious while working out.
Your workouts should be primarily low intensity and not very demanding. Avoid sports like scuba diving and horse riding, which possess the risk of you hitting your bump.
Keep yourself well-hydrated throughout, and don’t work out too intensely, which causes breathlessness.
Also, do not work out for more than 45 minutes or a maximum of an hour. Always make sure to have a warm-up session before and a cool-down session post-exercise.
Your and your baby’s safety is of utmost concern. Indulging in healthy exercises is quite advantageous for pregnant women, only when done with careful precautions.
Did you exercise during pregnancy?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.