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Getting in shape for baby’s sake

Womens Health > Getting in shape for baby’s sake

A positive pregnancy test no longer dooms expectant moms to nine months of feeling gross and growing to disproportionate sizes. In fact, most medical providers today suggest that assuming the mom-to-be is of normal weight, she should only gain about 25 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy. Doctors also are encouraging women to stay active and fit throughout their pregnancy. Some doctors compare childbirth to a marathon. No one would run a marathon unprepared, and no woman should give birth unprepared. Staying active helps a woman’s body preparing for the grueling miracle to come.

Still, there are some basic rules all moms-to-be should follow to stay fit. First, hydration is very important. Drink a glass of water about thirty minutes before exercising and be sure to take plenty of water or a lower calorie sports drink to the gym. Pregnant women need more water than most people, so it is important to always have plenty handy.

Pregnant women also should take extra precautions against overheating. Wearing cool, loose-fitting clothing is most important. Swimming and walking are the safest two exercises for women who were not in shape before they became pregnant. These forms of exercise are easy to control and do not lend themselves easily to overheating, making fitness a fun goal for moms who engage in these activities. Besides overheating, pregnant women should be sure they do not overdo their routine.

If a woman is already in shape, she may find that she needs to adjust her routine to make baby comfortable. Some sports, like tennis, may be uncomfortable for certain women. For beginners, however, it is best to start with moderate exercise a few times a week and work up to a longer workout. Feel free to take breaks as needed and let the pregnancy and the new baby dictate when enough is enough.

Some medical providers suggest that any exercises, such as sit-ups, requiring mom-to-be to lie on her back should be discontinued after the second trimester because they can cut off uterine blood flow. Other practitioners, however, say these exercises in moderation are safe. Again, let baby influence an exercise routine. By not over-exerting herself, a woman can use her pregnancy to motivate her to a new lifestyle of fitness.

Womens Health > Getting in shape for baby’s sake