We are passionate in our belief that exercise during pregnancy benefits both mother and baby.
Research has shown staying fit whilst pregnant can help with a wide range of pregnancy niggles and discomforts from backache to heartburn. Medical experts at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend that all healthy pregnant women aim for at least 30 minutes exercise every day. They agree that it’s not just everyday pregnancy aches and pains that can be helped by staying fit but research has shown that active pregnant women are less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, experience less intervention during labour and recover more quickly after the birth.
But we’re interested to know how has staying active during pregnancy benefited YOU? What do YOU believe are the benefits of an active pregnancy?
We asked our customers and social media followers to tell us why they continue to exercise whilst pregnant…
We were interested to see just how many women say that exercise helps lift their mood.
It’s been estimated that as many as one in three women suffer from some level of anxiety or depression during pregnancy, often overlooked as this is a time when you are expected to be filled with joy and anticipation, making it even more difficult to admit to feeling low. Here’s what our respondents said:
‘It keeps me sane! I suffered from a lot of anxiety in my first trimester – exercise makes me feel like myself again.’
‘A fit and active pregnancy can have huge benefits on your mental health, reducing levels of stress, anxiety and depression.’
‘Pregnancy exercise has helped manage my mood and boosted my self esteem’
‘For me personally, it improves my mental state, helps keep my bipolar stabilised and I’ve been told it will also reduce risk of postnatal depression too.’
‘I’m not so moody when I get my prenatal workouts in!!’
Giving birth is one of the biggest physical challenges most women face.
Preparing your body for birth, increasing your strength and stamina is like training for a big event – no-one would enter a marathon without advance preparation. Giving birth puts its own unique pressures on the body, with an extended recovery period afterwards. Many of our respondent agreed that improving their fitness in readiness for labour is a key benefit from staying fit.
‘Being physically active during pregnancy offers many benefits, among them an easier labour and delivery.’
‘By staying fit and active during pregnancy, my delivery was quick and easy since I was already in shape. Also, it’s helped immensely for a quick recovery! I was able to take my new baby (who was almost 9 pounds, full-term and 100% healthy) for a walk 3 days postpartum. Having a fit pregnancy was the best thing I could’ve done!!’
‘Quicker delivery, better recovery’
‘An active pregnancy helps so much when it comes to the biggest physical challenge I’ve experienced… giving birth’
Exercise makes you feel LESS tired.
Not everyone believes us when we say that staying active during your pregnancy will make you feel less tired. We’ve explained that exercise gives you an energy boost, strengthening your cardio-vascular system and increasing your stamina so your tire less easily. But what did our respondents say when we asked them what benefits they’d experienced from their prenatal exercise?
‘Exercise keeps me energised and stops nausea!
‘Increases your energy!’
More energy and good for legs ankles and feet too!
Exercise promotes a more healthy pregnancy weight gain too.
As one respondent said, ‘ It keeps a few kcals spare for those cheeky pregnancy cravings!’ but it’s not just about helping to avoid piling on too many unwanted pregnancy pounds and managing ‘optimal weight gain’ another respondent added that she found staying active is ‘great for the digestive system’.
And it’s not just you that benefits from an active pregnancy – your baby benefits too.
Research has shown that babies born to fit Mammas are leaner at birth and develop faster, but keeping healthy and being a good role model for your baby is important to many pregnant women. We always believed that active Mammas are more likely to raise active families – we’re delighted that you agree with us!
‘Happy mommy = happy baby!’
‘Healthy mummy means healthy baby’
‘I want to start getting into healthy habits I can keep up when the baby is born. I have a daughter about to turn 4 and want to model a health, active lifestyle for both my children.’
‘It helps give a healthy body mind and soul to you and your child…..fitness really helped me with my four kids’
‘Pregnancy exercise has been proven to help prevent obesity in the child you are carrying. It also lowers their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes later in their life! (Science is amazing!!)’
Pregnancy comes with many challenges. Staying active will help alleviate them or give you the extra strength to manage them. Lace up your trainers, unroll your exercise mat and check out our trimester specific exercise workouts – we’ll keep you motivated with regular tips for your healthy active pregnancy.
With many thanks to the many pregnant women who shared their views about staying active in pregnancy.
Share YOUR pregnancy fitness motivation with us and help to encourage even more women to stay active. We’re giving away a Pregnant Not Powerless maternity exercise vest every month to an inspirational Mamma! For your chance to win, send us a picture of your pregnant workout (via support@FittaMamma.com or Facebook Messenger) or tag us in your photos using @FittaMamma and #PregnantNotPowerless!
We will be choosing the most inspirational FittaMamma each month – whoever impresses us the most will win a Pregnant Not Powerless vest! You can resubmit photos the next month if you do not win – or send a different image. Winners will be contacted and will need to provide size and address details.
Entries may be shared on social media and might also appear in our gallery of inspirational FittaMammas.