When I became pregnant with my son, I was out of shape. Actually, that’s a nice way of putting it. I was overweight, ate poorly and got little to no exercise. We were living in Germany at the time and I ate a LOT of fried food and spent most of those cold, winter days sitting in front of the TV watching episodes of 24. When it came time for me to deliver Zach, I had a long labor and eventually had to have a c-section. Zach was 10 pounds, 3 ounces, and my recovery from the c-section was slow and painful.
Fast forward 6 years and I was giving birth to my third child.
In those six years I began to workout and eat right. I remained active throughout my entire pregnancy, running most days, lifting weights, and participating in group fitness classes like Step and Zumba. My daughter was born 7 pounds 8 ounces. I recovered from my repeat c-section much faster and was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight within 3 weeks.
The benefits of prenatal exercise can not be denied. Gone are the days when a pregnant woman was considered fragile. Today, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most, if not all days of the week. Studies have shown that women who exercise during pregnancy experience fewer prenatal discomforts such as nausea, leg cramps, swollen hands and feet, fatigue, and back pain. In addition, pregnant women who exercise have a better chance of staying within the recommended limits of weight gain. Exercise during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the risk of a complicated delivery and to shorten the length of active labor by 30% (Clapp, 1998).
And the benefits continue after birth. Women who exercise return to everyday activities 40% faster. They also experience fewer instances of postpartum depression and are more likely to continue exercising after the baby is born.
The good news is that whether you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or done having babies, it’s never too late to get in shape. There are numerous benefits to exercising at any age including weight control, improved mood, increased energy, disease control, and a better sex life. Plus, it is so important for us to set a good example for our children. By being active and putting good food in front of them, we are building a foundation for them to continue on in life as healthy adults.
Fit4Baby is an amazing chance to do something for yourself AND for your baby. By getting out and being active, you are giving your little one the best start for a healthy life. And you are doing it in an environment that is safe and supportive. Gone are the days of being the only pregnant woman in a fitness class at the gym. Gone are the days of trying to figure out what is safe for you to do, and what isn't. With Fit4Baby, you are in a class with other pregnant moms. You have an instructor who knows what your body is going through. And you are making new friendships, which is something that every new mom needs!