We look forward to welcoming a baby but never look forward to experiencing delivering pain or entering the labor ward. Holding our tiny angel in hands seems to be life’s greatest blessing and all the pain and trouble experienced before the delivery vanishes in a jiffy once the baby’s out. Until then, the process of labor is a serious determinant of the quality of life of the woman involved.
Surviving through labor and delivering a baby is equivalent to rebirth of a mom. Studies show that greater the labor time greater is the risk associated with maternal and perinatal mortality rates. Also, maternal characteristics such as BMI, age, parity, oxytocin and epidural analgesia have a strong impact on the labor duration. Hence the insistence on an active lifestyle, good dietary habits and a healthy body weight. Pregnancy time is precious in every woman’s life because that’s when every lady gets to pamper herself, care for her whims and fancies and also leads a healthier life. Most of them practice doing physical activity and the latest study tells us that maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy can reduce the time spend in labor during delivery.
Studies on Exercise & its Effects on Labor Tenure
572 pregnant women who were between their 9 and 11 week of gestation were invited for study and only 508 women were declared to be eligible based on different study criteria. Of the 508 women each of them was put into two different groups randomly and finally, there were 253 women in the control group and 255 women belonging to the exercise group. Women in the exercise group underwent moderate exercise intervention program three days a week with each session lasting for about an hour right from the 9th or 11th week up to the end of the third trimester (weeks 38-39). Each of the sessions included a warm-up procedure, aerobic resistance training, muscle strengthening exercises, balance exercises, stretching exercises, pelvic floor strengthening and cool down procedures. Whereas women in the control group met their gynecologist at the stipulated time interval and were advised on general diet and exercise routines that were to be followed in general.
Of the 508 women, many of them discontinued or were excluded from the study due to personal reasons, caesarian section or extreme bleeding. This left the researchers with 325 pregnant women of which 149 belonged to control group and 176 belonged to the exercise group. Results showed that:
The health of the mother can determine the fetus’ health greatly. Babies whose moms are obese are likelier to grow into obese adults. Eating to your hearts content rarely is not a sin but staying idle or remaining at rest completely are wrongful ways to approach a pregnancy. Every pregnant woman needs to be active, do her chores, eat nutritious foods and exercise daily for a lesser labor time during delivery. Those who have complications during pregnancy or pregnant women in general are advised to get their physician’s opinion before starting to exercise.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.