Exercising During Pregnancy Reduces Risk Of Heavy Babies


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A new study published in the October issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology has proven that not only does regular exercise keep moms healthy during pregnancy but it also helps to prevent excessive newborn weight.

HealthDay News reports that the Norwegian researchers found that the chances of delivering a heavy baby dropped by 28 percent in women who regularly exercised during their second and third trimesters.

The study also reported that the number of larger babies being born is on the rise while the number of women exercising during pregnancy is on the decline.

The effects of exercise didn't appear to be as consistently beneficial in women who'd already had children. When these women danced or participated in low-impact aerobics, they also reduced the likelihood of delivering a large baby, but when they swam or trained in fitness centers, the benefit disappeared.

Allen said that while exercise during pregnancy is definitely a good idea, these findings might be different if done with a different population. For example, American women are likely more ethnically diverse and have different average body-mass index levels.

But, in any case, Allen said, "Exercise should be encouraged for everyone who's healthy enough to do it. Exercise shouldn't be discontinued just because you're pregnant."

Allen added that research in the United States has also shown that women who exercise are less likely to have preterm deliveries.

Welch cautioned that as women progress in pregnancy, they should avoid any exercise that has them lay flat on their back, because this can restrict blood flow to both baby and mom. Also, contact sports are out, as is anything where falling might be likely, such as horseback riding.

He said he tells his patients to keep their heart rate to no more than 120 beats per minute during exercise. This allows you to get an aerobic workout, but isn't so much that it might shunt blood away from the baby, Welch explained.

Exercise has always been hugely beneficial to the health of mama and baby. Yoga, Pilates, swimming and walking are low impact, gentle ways to stay fit and keep healthy both during and after pregnancy.


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