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Exercising During Pregnancy



Long been postulated as being detrimental, more recent clinical investigation has actually shown that exercise is beneficial when performed in moderation during uncomplicated pregnancy.  The expectant mother benefits by maintaining her overall health and tends to deposit less fat and have more rapid recovery from labor, which itself tends to be shorter and less complicated.  The babies born to mothers who continue to engage in moderate exercise during pregnancy tend to have fewer signs of distress at birth, probably due to the shorter labor process.  However, the benefits of exercising during pregnancy may persist for years as these children tend to have better motor skills at one year of age and even perform better on standardized tests at the age of five.



Some things should be kept in mind for pregnant women regarding exercise.  They should consult with their physician to confirm that they do not have a condition that would make exercising dangerous for them or their child.  They should inquire about this throughout the pregnancy because their medical condition can change as their pregnancy progresses.  Exercising in the supine (lying flat on the back) position is not recommended, especially after the first trimester.  Also, activities that increase risk of abdominal injury, such as contact sports, should be avoided.


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Last modified: 06/05/12