Regular pregnancy exercise will keep you fit and strong, as well as help you maintain a better self-image, and feel more positive about yourself and your pregnancy. But what are the actual benefits?
A well-devised pregnancy exercise programme will mean a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy, and may even make for an easier and quicker delivery and a healthier baby. Exercise during pregnancy will help prepare you for the rigours of labour, by strengthening the muscles you will need to give birth. Labour is one of the most intense activities that women undergo, so your improved fitness, strength and stamina will give you an advantage!
Exercising during pregnancy can’t guarantee you a pain- or complication-free pregnancy and labour (if only…!) BUT increased fitness will prevent or alleviate many of the problems and discomforts associated with pregnancy; and you can give yourself the best possible chance of coping with, or even enjoying, your birth experience!
The Benefits Of Pregnancy Exercise:
- Improved balance and strength – better posture and less backache.
- Improved circulation and decreased risk of varicose veins and swelling.
- Less discomfort from constipation, haemorrhoids, and other common pregnancy complaints such as leg cramps.
- Prevents excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
- Allows for a quicker return to pre-pregnancy weight.
- Decreased incidence of loss of bladder control during and after pregnancy.
- Less risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Less risk of developing pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure).
- Less likelihood of intervention during labour, such as ventouse or forceps.
- Reduction in bone density loss whilst breast-feeding.
- Aerobic fitness and stamina for the demands of labour.
- Speeds recovery and gives you the strength and energy needed to be a new mother!