There are several benefits to you as mum-to-be to stay active during pregnancy, but have you ever wondered if exercise is beneficial to your baby too?
“Fitter mums have fitter babies”, but if you’d like to know what other benefits exercise has for your growing foetus, then read on.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has realised some new evidence recently that suggests that:
“Foetuses of exercising women are in a better position at the start of labour, and also tolerate labour better than those of non-exercisers.”
You might think that’s a pretty sweeping statement, but, as an Ante/Postnatal Fitness Expert, I’d say, if your baby is used to you exercising, on a regular basis eg at least 3 times a week, it can only be a good thing, to help prepare it for the birthing process itself.
If you think about when you exercise, your breathing and heart goes up and down, and if you do this on a habitual basis, your baby will be used to this scenario.
When you do go into labour therefore, it won’t be a sudden shock for your baby when you do so, because he/she is used to this change in state. Your heart rate increases and lots of things alter in your system, so your baby will cope better in this situation.
Sadly, lots of Caesarean sections occur when a baby’s heart rate drops or it gets in distress. This scenario is not safe for you or for your baby, but, if you maintain your fitness level, stay active and keep challenging your cardiovascular system safely and effectively (I’m talking about your heart and lungs here), then, your baby will see nothing different when your body goes into labour. Nature will just take its course as it has done for many, many years.
Dr James F Clapp, a leading expert on exercise studies during pregnancy, concluded in a recent study that:
“Babies have a better growth and development pattern in utero than babies whose mothers did not exercise.”
“Babies are more likely to be healthier, calmer and more intelligent than babies of non-exercising mothers.”
“The newborns of women who exercise don’t have trouble with the transition to life outside the uterus, and tend to be alert and easy to care for.”
So, there you go. Who needs more incentive to remain fit, active and healthy during pregnancy than that, eh?!
If you have any questions relating to any of the topics listed in today’s article, do get in touch. I’m more than happy to help, as you know.
Pregnancy Pilates is a great workout for expectant mums at any stage in their pregnancy and includes everything you need to stay toned, release tension and relax.