Information On Exercise During Pregnancy
by Olivia Cagle
Exercise during pregnancy is imperative to maximize your health, for your own sake and for the sake of your child. One of the most important foundations for a healthy pregnant body is exercise.
There are many factors that combine to hurt or help the health of our pregnant mothers and their babies. Exercise is a powerful factor. Combine exercise with proper breathing, nutrition, and mental imagery, and de-stressing techniques and this will dramatically change the health and happiness for the pregnant woman and her baby and prepare her for the birthing process.
If you look up exercise for pregnant women, you will find in many places that it says that you shouldn’t get your heart rate up above 140 beats per minute. However, that information in no longer accurate. In 2002, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) updated and revised their recommendations for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. These guidelines encourage pregnant women to get a daily dose of activitiy, and also cites any warning signs or limitations. Contact sports like hockey are not recommended during pregnancy, nor is scuba diving, but most other activities are fair game! Check out the rest of the widely referenced document here: ACOG Guidelines For Exercise During Pregnancy
Think about this:
A pregnant woman is in training for nine months whether she wants it or not. Embracing the challenge and selecting appropriate training protocols can guide her to emerge from the experience far stronger than ever before.
The modern woman’s average training time for their 12-24 hour labor is next to nothing. Many will buy a book or attend a childbirth class. A class can be one or two hours and span once or twice per week for one or two months. Many are largely educational, rather than experiential—like preparing for a marathon by reading about running rather than actually doing it—they provide an overview of the birth process but will not often provide specific mental, emotional, or physical preparation for birth.
Now, for a five-hour marathon, a woman may dedicate between 150 and 300 training hours. Labor will usually last three times longer and the average woman will dedicate only 20-30 hours of class and book reading time, if she is particularly motivated. Like the marathon, and most things in life, how well she performs in labor will largely depend upon the effectiveness of her preparation.
Some women are scared to exercise at all and others aren’t sure how much exercise is appropriate. Thinking about your pregnancy as a training time can put a new perspective on it for you.
If there are certain things you do to prepare your body for birth, I would love for you to share below.
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