A closer look at prenatal exercises and their importance


Prenatal physical exercises are very essential both for the mother and for the baby. Exercise is important even for mothers who have not been engaging in exercise before pregnancy. The types of exercises that one can engage in vary greatly, for most pregnant women, their exercises mostly range from simple exercises such as walking to more intense workouts such as running, aerobics and yoga.

Mothers-to-be can participate in a wide range of exercises without the risk of harming themselves or the unborn baby they are carrying. Cardio exercises are especially important for pregnant women since they help them to build stronger hearts necessary to supply enough nutrients to their bodies and to the unborn baby as well.

Expectant women who engage in intensive exercises are likely to gain less weight throughout the pregnancy period. A pregnant woman can work out safely with a rowing machine to lose extra calories while staying within the healthy range of weight gain.

Apart from shedding off the extra weight, rowing exercises helps moms-to-be to build stronger abs and tone their muscles. Abdominal and cardiovascular muscles are the top beneficiaries of these exercises. Having strong abdominal muscles provides enough stamina required during child delivery. This reduces cases of labour complications making delivery a much easier task.

Pregnant women are predisposed to the risk of contracting gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Mostly, these two conditions are influenced by genetics but exercises may help to prevent or reduce their impact. In some instances, gestational diabetes develops to type II diabetes after giving birth. Pregnant women with high blood pressure are at a risk of preterm delivery.

Regular exercises have also been known to improve ‘moods’ in pregnant women. Expectant mothers who exercise regularly report lower cases of mood swings especially after workouts. Additionally, they experience lower cases of back aches and joint pain than their peers who don’t exercise.

During pregnancy, progesterone is produced in high amounts in the body. This hormone causes the intestinal tract of pregnant women to back up resulting in constipation. The growing uterus also causes constriction of the intestinal tract. Regular exercises combined with high fibre diet can therefore help to keep the digestive system in prime condition.

There are other hormones that are produced by the body during pregnancy that one can capitalize on for their benefits. For instance, relaxin is a hormone produced by the body to cause relaxation of the pelvic muscles during pregnancy. This hormone is also used for relaxation of the rest of the body joints. With careful stretches, such as those achieved with a rowing machine, one can capitalize on this opportunity to achieve a higher degree of flexibility.

Experts suggest that exercises should be combined with a proper diet for maximum performance. Good nutrition is good for the mother as well as for the growing baby. Pregnant women should therefore focus on consuming essential nutrients such as vitamins, proteins and fatty acids that are necessary for the growing foetus. Supplementation of the normal diets with prenatal vitamins with dha will help the mother to supply the growing baby with all the required nutrients.