Getting Started.

Before you consider any exercise program during your pregnancy, it is important that you discuss this with your doctor and get a medical clearance to begin.

As per the 1994, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology guidelines, a woman who has never exercised before can start to exercise during her pregnancy. This is safe according to Dr. Clapp, an expert in Pregnancy Fitness. It would be advisable to seek the help of a fitness professional to design a safe and effective training program.

History of Exercising During Pregnancy:

Traditionally, pregnant women have been advised not to exercise too much and to just “take it easy”. There is a myth that pregnancy is a delicate condition. This dates back to the turn of the 20th century when there was a revolution in technology and gadgets like vacuum cleaners, washing machines, etc. were readily available. Birthing changed from home to the hospital and pregnancy and birth became a medical event. Medical intervention became the norm and the birth of the delicate condition began.

Dr. James Clapp III, in his book, “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy”, confirms through medical research that exercising throughout pregnancy is not only safe but also beneficial for both the mother-to-be and her unborn baby.

How exercise benefits pregnant moms.

Some of the well known benefits of exercise include:

Less Weight Gain: According to research, it was found that continuing to exercise throughout pregnancy had a marked influence on weight gain and fat deposition. Women who exercised shoed less weight gain and fat deposition by as much as 3%.
Return to pre-pregnacy weight more readily. Women who are aerobically more active during pregnancy return to their pre pregnancy weight faster than those who remained sedentary. Dr. Clapp compared women who exercised through pregnancy and the post-partum period to non active women.
Effects on Labor: A 1990 study conducted by Dr. Clapp confirm that women who exercise report a more rapid physical and emotional recovery. A 1981 study conducted by the Melpomene Institute of Research found that women who exercised had fewer cases of post-partum depression than their non exercising counterparts.

How exercise benefits your baby.

Babies born to women who exercised tolerate the stress of labor better than babies born to non exercising women. Studies by Dr. Clapp found that babies born to women who exercised through their pregnancies responded readily to things in their environment and were “self soothers”.

New and Compelling research now indicates that :
Exercising mothers have leaner babies.
Children of exercising mothers were found to significantly better language skills.

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