What kind of exercise, if any is safe for the expectant mom?
With warnings and restrictions posted everywhere from airlines to amusement rides, moms-to-be aren’t exactly motivated to put their baby’s safety at risk in the name of exercise. The prevalence and ease of technology certainly isn’t motivating either – who can resist just one more game of Words with Friends? And when late stages of pregnancy set in and moving can be uncomfortable and sometimes impossible, where can expectant moms find motivation to keep moving?
Here it is: studies have shown that exercise not only helps the mom by increasing blood flow and strengthening child-carrying muscles, but also helps the baby’s brain development in utero. A study of women who were assigned into exercise and non-exercise groups showed that those who exercised 20 minutes per day contributed to their baby’s early ability to discriminate sounds at 8-10 days old. Additionally, babies whose moms exercised scored higher on communication and intelligence tests at age five.
While these results sound impressive, finding the right type of exercise for you is the real key to a lasting healthy habit. Pregnant moms, in the later stages especially, should be careful about lifting excessive weight and not injuring their backs and be sure to engage in pre-workout warm-ups. Moderate exercise that does not put extreme pressure on the joints (swimming, walking, etc.) is beneficial and encouraged. Moms who already have a routine of exercise should continue this pattern as long as they are able.
With the decreased flexibility that comes with pregnancy, coupled with a change in balance and weight distribution, moms should strongly consider massage therapy and chiropractic care to keep their bodies in the best shape possible for a smooth and swift delivery. Any exercise you enjoy is not only helping you, but also your baby! We love to meet expecting moms and provide them with quality maternity care. Call us at 610-750-9131 and schedule a maternity appointment today!