Written by: Annéke da Silva (Lecturer at eta Pretoria Campus)
Contrary to what people may believe research has actually shown that it is recommended to train during your pregnancy for as long as you can and if approved by a medical doctor. Staying active during your pregnancy doesn’t only have benefits for the mom but for the little baby growing inside of her as well! Let’s have a look at some of these benefits:
- Aids in weight management
Your weight gain during pregnancy is determined by your pre-pregnancy BMI (body mass index) – the higher your BMI, the less weight you are allowed to gain. That does mean if you had a low BMI before pregnancy your doctor is probably going to advise you to gain between 12-16kg. Do keep in mind this is very individualized and specific to every pregnancy and is just a guideline. But staying active and fit throughout your pregnancy actually helps you control the weight you gain and it has been shown that women who exercised during pregnancy gained ±3kg less than the women who didn’t.
- Labour & delivery may be easier
Will you go run a marathon without training for it? Didn’t think so. So why not train for the most important event of a woman’s life? A strong core and good cardiovascular fitness can give you more “oomph” during the pushing phase – meaning you are less likely to tire during a long labor/delivery. Not only does it help with the birthing process, it is also shown to improve recovery after birth and cope better with the new demands of motherhood.
- You will give birth to a leaner baby
Research has shown that mothers who stayed physically active during their pregnancies delivered leaner babies and grows normally throughout childhood and tends to stay lean. If this persists it can have significant long term benefits due to the decreased risk for metabolic diseases as well as cardiovascular diseases.
- Lowers your risk for preeclampsia
This is a complication that involves high blood pressure & excess protein in the urine. This is a very dangerous condition and can lead to premature birth. Exercising during pregnancy can help control and lower your blood pressure and possible prevent this from occurring
- Avoiding the baby blues
We all have heard about the baby-blues, or postpartum depression. This leads to even further problems like sleep deprivation and marital problems. Exercising releases the “happy hormones” (endorphins) and can help keep those baby blues at bay, especially if you exercise outdoors due to the sunlight exposure as well.
- You will give birth to a stronger baby
A leaner, stronger baby handles the changes from inside the womb to the outside world better and also tolerates the stress that they go through during the birth process so much better
These are just to mention a few of the benefits, the list is endless! So the benefits of keeping active during your pregnancy far outweighs the risks and has a lasting impact on your baby’s future & health!
You can become an exercise specialist in training pregnant clients, take the next step and register for the course below:
To apply for the Advanced Certificate in Fitness: Special Populations click here