At one time doctors discouraged both prenatal and postpartum exercise, stating it wasn’t good for either mother or child. Of course, in those days, women were restricted to bed for days and sometimes weeks after childbirth. Today, scientific studies paint quite a different picture on whether to exercise during pregnancy and immediately following, or to remain in bed. Studies show that there are many different benefits from exercising both during pregnancy and after the delivery of the child that range from regaining your figure to boosting the immune system and providing the same benefit to the baby if mother is breast feeding.
Exercising during pregnancy can make delivery easier.
Not only does prenatal exercise strengthen the muscles and make delivery easier, it also helps increase the energy level. Posture changes during pregnancy and exercise can help prevent back aches that often occur otherwise. Mothers-to-be find that exercise helps their sleep pattern, which is important when you consider that sleep won’t be as available after delivery. It also helps prevent constipation, swelling and bloating that can sometimes occur in pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and have never been active before, it’s always best to check with your doctor and use the expertise of an exercise specialist, such as a personal trainer. Even if you’ve always been active, you should check with your doctor if you have any health considerations. A personal trainer can also benefit you by choosing the right type and intensity of exercise to provide a safe exercise program.
Delivery is easier is you’re fit.
Women who are fit have shorter labor, both in the first and second stage of labor. Women who exercise regularly while pregnant also have a higher pain tolerance and increased stamina, so they tire less during labor. Studies show there are fewer caesarian births among exercising mothers-to-be and the improved muscle tone in the pelvic area also helps lower the incidence of episiotomies and tearing during delivery.
Postpartum exercise can help prevent the after baby blues.
While most people are aware that exercise produces mood enhancing hormones and burns off stress hormones, most people don’t realize that it also helps build energy. Regular exercise helps you improve your energy levels, which is particularly necessary for this busy time. It restores muscle strength and your abdominal muscle tone, besides promoting weight loss. Women who exercise often find they can cope better with the stresses of motherhood. Lactating mothers also pass benefits on to their children. Exercise boosts the immune system and that benefit goes directly to the newborn at feeding.
You’ll look better and feel better when you exercise during and after pregnancy. It also sets the stage for a healthy lifestyle for your family.
Knowing the best exercises to do both before and immediately following delivery can be tricky. Using the expertise of a personal trainer or exercise specialist during that time is quite beneficial.
Exercise not only helps improve the sense of well being and provides mood improving hormones, it also contributes to improving the self-image.
Prenatal and postpartum exercise prepares you for all extra lifting and bending necessary as a new mother. It provides functional fitness to help prevent injury, such as pulled muscles or prevent backache.