Should Pregnant Women Exercise? Risks and Benefits

Posted: Monday, 21 May 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , , , ,

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Traditionally, when a woman becomes pregnant, it seems like their freedom for the nine months of pregnancy has disappeared. However, this old school thought should be thrown out the window. No more locking yourself up in the house and trying to avoid all forms of labour.

Since 2002 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has been in support of regular exercise during and after pregnancy for both healthy and sedentary women. It is time for the public to throw out their out beliefs and see what the research is telling them.  The changes that women experiences during her pregnancy should not be viewed as a limitation. Instead we should all be encouraging them to participate in exercise and practice healthy habits.

This being said, do not lose weight during your pregnancy as it can be toxic to the fetus. However, losing weight prior to pregnancy has become increasingly important thing as noted in recent research. Being overweight prior to pregnancy can have serious implications on your fetus.

Many researchers have noted that the risks associated with exercise and pregnancy is none to a very little, unless predetermined by their physicians to be at risk of complications. It has actually been suggested that pregnancy is a prime time to make behavioral health changes in one’s life in order to provide a healthier environment for herself and the baby.

Healthy changes or implementing healthy lifestyle changes can seem like a frightening idea. All that passes through your mind are the bars of confinement, all the things you love being kept out of arms reach. All the battles you will have to fight with those hormonal food cravings.

This should not be how you think. Healthy changes can be a positive experience. Many people imagine eating carrot sticks and celery all day. But, eating healthy can be a delicious and fun adventure.

The importance of implementing the positive changes is so vitally important, these changes in your habits can influence and shape the future of both the mother’s and the child’s health.

The research has demonstrated relatively little risks for pregnant women and the fetus during bouts of exercise. However, there is always concern and you should never begin an exercise program during pregnancy without first consulting with your physician.

Benefits directly affecting the baby from mothers who undertook consistent physical activity 
Babies born to mothers who maintained physical activities during pregnancy have been shown to be

  • Less agitated and more alert
  • Are self-quieting 
  • Better able to handle stress of labour 

Benefits directly affecting mothers who undertook consistent physical activity

  • Easier labour 
  • Shorter labour times
  • Enhanced recovery after birth
  • Bone density improvements that may offset lactation induced bone mineral loss for nursing mothers


  • Exercise produces little to no risk for the mother or fetus unless they are a high risk pregnancy 
  • Always consult your physician 
  • There are significant benefits for the mother and the child from consistent physical activity as noted directly above 
  • Pregnancy is a prime time to make changes in your health habits 
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  1. A pregnant women should try to keep her and child fit so they should exercise and also they should go for a walk as they cant move much they will get bored

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