If there weren’t already enough reasons to stay active during pregnancy, a new study in the UK shows that women with higher activity levels are more likely to have a “normal” childbirth — requiring fewer medical interventions — than mothers who are less active.
According to the BBC, the study from Swansea University College of Medicine examined data from 466 women to find that those who led sedentary lifestyles were twice as likely to need interventions such as forceps during delivery, and had a 50 percent higher chance of requiring a cesarean delivery. The results show that the correlations were present in both normal-weight and overweight expectant mothers. So even if you were out of shape when you became pregnant, there is still good reason to get moving during pregnancy.
Many women avoid exercise during pregnancy because they are unsure which activities are safe, or they find it difficult to find the time or the energy to stay active. Staying active can just mean getting a brisk walk in every day and taking the stairs as much as possible. It also helps to specifically exercise the muscles affected most by pregnancy. When choosing appropriate exercises, it’s important to find classes or programs that are designed specifically for prenatal moms in order to prevent damaging vulnerable tissues. Attending prenatal exercise classes in your community can also help you meet other expectant moms in your area, helping make exercise a regular habit. If you have a hard time fitting a class in your schedule, try a prenatal exercise video that can be done anytime and anywhere.