The Importance of Exercise While Expecting

Topics: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Obesity Pages: 7 (2610 words) Published: February 25, 2008
The Importance of Exercise While Expecting

Expecting a child comes not only with happiness and joy, but also many questions about what to do and change during and after pregnancy. One of the biggest questions is a question that many mothers ask themselves. Does my exercising hurt my child? The answer is one that must be chosen by the number because exercising while pregnant has its benefits and its drawbacks.

Exercise plays an important role in promoting health and well being for pregnant women. About half the pregnant women in the United States exercise ( Pregnant women who get regular exercise experience fewer discomforts of pregnancy as well as get the normal benefits exercise can bring. Studies show that exercising during pregnancy can bring many benefits to the baby as well as to the mother. One study found in the journal of pediatrics in 1996, found that the children of 20 women who continued to exercise during pregnancy all had significantly higher scores on oral language and general intelligence tests ( Basically, children of mothers who exercised regularly tend to be more intelligent then their peers. Women who consume a healthy diet, gain weight at the recommended level, and avoid activities that are too intense or may cause injury should not worry that exercise will harm their baby ( Most pregnant women who exercise during pregnancy have healthy children. It is shown that women who exercise during pregnancy give birth to babies with less body fat and weigh approximately one pound lighter than the babies born to mothers who perform no exercise during pregnancy ( One way to know that the lever of exercise is too high is a low rate of weight gain. Therefore, women should be careful to not make the exercise too intense because it can harm the baby rather than be beneficial. Also, it is important to watch the level of exercise because it can alter the amount of oxygen the baby receives. Also, babies of exercising mothers are better able to adapt to the stressor and stimuli to life outside the womb. Because of this, these babies are found to be in need of less comforting by others and can settle themselves in certain situations (

There are many opinions debating whether or not a woman with child should partake in physical activities. Many things should be taken into consideration about exercise when a woman finds that she is expecting. Many questions come to mind about the safety of the health of the unborn child, health of the mother, what type of exercises need to avoid and what specific type need to be performed frequently. The most frequent concerns are the effects on labor. In general, exercising during pregnancy is very healthy and does not trigger early labor and delivery if there are not high risks. The women who have been considered to experience a high-risk pregnancy tend to have a risk for pre-term/early labors. If the pregnancy is termed as high-risk, then exercise should be closely monitored and the types of exercise should be discussed with health care provider ( It has also been shown that excess levels of physical activity at higher intensities can reduce fetal growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery ( Some types of exercise positions as well as the level of intensity may cause harm to the baby. Overall, moderate exercise does not increase the risk for miscarriage or early labor.

Depending on the number of children a woman has previously had, a woman may wonder about how the labor and delivery will take place. While conducting research, it was found that there are many different parts...
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