|During my first two pregnancies I didn't work out very much, and I remember feeling tired and weak a lot of the time. This time around I've done a much better job of exercising more consistently, and I feel great. I feel so strong. It's kind of nice. I regret not doing a better job the first two times. Anyway, just wondering what benefits do most expectant moms experience?|
|Exercising during pregnancy can help with the physical challenges of pregnancy and help speed postpartum recovery. One other great point is that you mentally feel much better after exercise! I think that's as important as the physical benefits, and also a strong motivator.
Another benefit of prenatal fitness is that it can improve your baby's ability to tolerate the stresses of labor and delivery. Research has shown that babies of exercising moms have fewer complications during labor and delivery (possibly as a result of a greater blood flow and fetal reserves resulting from their mother's exercise). Another study found that the placentas of exercising women had greater blood flow from increased blood vessel development than those of pregnant women who didn't exercise regularly.
That may be one way that babies of exercising moms are better able to deal with reductions in uterine blood flow during times of stress. All great reasons to keep exercising during pregnancy!
Catherine Cram, M.S.
Owner for Comprehensive Fitness Consulting LLC
Author of Fit Pregnancy for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2004)