Firstly, exercising during pregnancy improves your physical endurance, making you feel fit! Next, to that, you decrease your risk of gestational diabetes by exercising more. You improve your muscle strength and mass. This is important, among other things, to avoid complaints like pelvic complaints or pelvic instability. Women who exercise generally have a stronger pelvic floor than women who don't exercise. Women who specifically train their pelvic floor have less pelvic floor related problems, like urine incontinence.
Many expectant mothers suffer from fluid retention, mainly in the ankles and feet. This can be reduced by exercising during pregnancy. You are also less likely to develop varicose veins. Besides this, exercise makes for a healthy weight gain, you don't gain unnecessary kilos! And did you know that by exercising, you will experience less nausea and fatigue? Exercising also ensures better sleep, which makes that you'll feel less tired.
There are also a lot of mental advantages to exercising during pregnancy. Several studies show that regular exercise reduces symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. In addition, exercising increases self-confidence and creates a more positive body image.
Active women experience fewer complications during labour, like for example delivery with the use of forceps or by caesarean section. Furthermore, there is a lower incidence of exhaustion during labour and of induced labour. And lastly, women who exercise during their pregnancy often continue this after their pregnancy. This allows for a healthy recovery after labour.
There are a lot of advantages for children of mothers who are active during pregnancy. For the foetus: a lower resting heart rate, improvement of the viability of the placenta, increased amniotic fluid levels and increased gestational age. The foetus also experiences less stress and he/she will be able to tolerate labour better. In addition, research shows that baby will probably have a higher Apgar score after delivery, and a better ability to self-soothe.
Children of women who exercised during their pregnancy have a more muscular body with less body fat. This can last up to five years after delivery. Also, these children have a higher IQ, so it is good to get active!
This article is based on 17 externally conducted scientific research papers and on our own research which surveyed 487 members.