A new Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology confirm
the importance of exercise while pregnant to reduce risk of having a pre-term baby or other complications.
Researchers looked at data from over 2,000 pregnant women and compared those who exercised and those who did not The women who exercised were more likely to deliver vaginally—as opposed to having a C-section—and less likely to have gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
The key is to maintain your current level of activity, not increase it, according to the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The Academy recommends that all women who have no complications with their pregnancies get “30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week.”
Women can do what they want but should avoid exercise that can risk abdominal trauma (like horseback riding or skiing).
They should tell their docs of their exercise plans and stop and tel their doc if they experience any pain, discomfort, or have any worries.
Read more in Shape
Though exercise during pregnancy has proven benefits for healthy women, many still fear it, according to a new study.
“Despite what we have said over the last 10 years, pregnant women are still afraid exercise is going to hurt their child,” says researcher Melissa J. Hague, MD, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.
In her study of 90 women, she found many regular exercisers stopped working out when they became pregnant. Some told her they did not think exercising, even walking, was safe during pregnancy.
“I was really surprised,” she tells WebMD.
Hague presented her findings this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in San Diego.
Exercise During Pregnancy: Expert Opinion
In 2002, ACOG issued an opinion about exercise during pregnancy. Recreational and competitive athletes without pregnancy complications can remain active with their doctor’s OK, it says. They should modify their workouts as medically indicated.
Inactive women should consult their doctors before starting a program, it says.
Moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more most or all days of the week appears safe for pregnant women without complications, it says. Activities with a high risk of falling, contact sports, and scuba diving should not be done