Pregnant Moms Get Moving
- Wednesday, 14 November 2007
The exercise guidelines put out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists highly recommend the benefits of keeping a regular fitness regime during pregnancy. However, most recent statistics still note the number of pregnant women in America who choose to exercise during pregnancy is just over 15%.
In a healthy pregnancy the perceived risks of exercise are vastly outweighed by the benefits. Current research recommends that pregnant women without absolute contraindications (complications) exercise at least three times weekly. These recommendations are grounded in findings that show exercise decreases the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension while increasing joint stability, endurance for the demands of labor and the speed of postpartum recovery. Who wouldn’t want these benefits?
It still surprises me that many women still often quote inaccurate, outdated information and myths to justify their choice to remain sedentary. My determination to help women get empowered with the right knowledge has had me writing about this topic for nearly a decade. One article I wrote (called “Don’t Put Your Feet Up, Dear”) outlined the best reasons, based on the most current research, for expecting moms to get and stay active. While I remain committed to educating expecting women, I realize the real need is to get all caregivers up to date on these findings. To assist with just that, I am currently involved in updating a guide distributed to caregivers.
I am sure about one thing, though: many of us are skeptics until our skepticism is proven wrong. Although it has been disproved over and over again, the myth that exercise during pregnancy can in some way be harmful to the baby still sticks in the back of some women’s minds. Remember that less than 25 years ago, there was no Olympic marathon for women! We've come a long way – but not quite far enough. In the meantime every pregnant woman should really do her research to build her confidence in all decisions she makes.
Whether it is pregnancy, taking a new job or purchasing a car, the big decisions in life require an investment in yourself and a sense of personal responsibility in asking questions and seeking accurate answers.