We hear our grandmothers and great grandmothers advising us on every trivial aspect during pregnancy. Some people also have the view that a pregnant woman needs complete rest, even bed rest if she is warned of complications, or they strongly believe the ‘eat for two’ motto insisting the conceived lady to eat more than what she requires. Such advises won’t work now and even more, they have misfired contributing to the obesity epidemic.
The scenario has completely changes and more than 50% of women gain more weight that recommended during their pregnancy period. What consequences do the mom and newborn face due to this extra weight?
Experts believe that obesity is passed on through generations. An overweight/obese mom gives birth to an obese infant through factors such as genes, the surrounding environment and lifestyle. One research proved that normal-weight mothers were at zero risk for preterm or low-birth-weight infants.
Sow the Seeds & Reap the Benefits
Exercising during pregnancy offers the pregnant woman and the fetus with abundant advantages:
The chances of macrosomia (newborn weighing more than 3.7 kilograms) are less, less chances of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, decreased C-sections, lesser back pain and pelvic girdle pain and lower frequency of urinary incontinence are the primary benefits.
Women who have never exercised until pregnancy too can involve in moderate-intensity workout. This is the best time to start exercising as the woman is motivated greatly. Numerous studies have proved that it is totally rational for the pregnant woman to start exercising from the time of the first prenatal visit (9-12 weeks) until about delivery.
Apart from certain exercises such as long-distance running, heavy weight lifting or getting into supine position, these women can perform most of the exercises for the same time duration as a nonpregnant lady. Such active lifestyles have a positive impact on both appetite and energy expenditure, leading to better birth outcomes for both mother and child.
Pregnancy might be a blissful period in a woman’s life. But it is no more a confinement period and the pregnant lady can lead an active lifestyle just like the rest of us. Regular physical exercise triggers psychological well-being and improves/maintains physical fitness of the pregnant lady. Pregnant women should eat a nutritious diet that comprises of all the different food groups along with the daily dose of exercise to remain healthy. If you are pregnant and looking out for a diet plan, a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com can help you plan a personalized diet program fitting your needs for improved health.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.
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