Exercising During Pregnancy



Staying healthy and being active should be a part of everyday life, in the same way that it can help prevent obesity and the health problems that can come from that – it can also help to prevent many of the same problems during pregnancy.

Did you exercise when you were pregnant, what did you do?



Staying active should be part of a normal healthy lifestyle, this includes during pregnancy. But with so much conflicting advice going around Swansea University took it upon themselves to undertake research that can form the basis of official UK evidence based guidelines for pregnant women. At this time no such thing exists, but there is a general consensus that exercise is beneficial and can help prevent some pregnancy induced problems such as diabetes and hypertension. 

Simon Emery, obstetrics and gynaecology consultant at the hospital, said: “The study aims to examine the influence of exercise on the mother’s heart, blood vessels and nervous system during normal pregnancy. We hope that with the help of our volunteers we will gain a clearer insight into the health improvements of regular physical exercise during pregnancy and its contribution to improving antenatal care.”

Although the study is using volunteers, they had to meet certain criteria such as no history of cardiovascular disease, their pregnancy must not be consultant-led, and they must have a BMI under a certain level.

The volunteers will join one of the two options of exercise, land based aerobics or pool based aqua aerobics. Although it is usually water based exercise that is recommended for pregnant women there is little evidence that doing a similar activity on land would be any different. 

The volunteers have to report to the hospital once during each trimester, and for a final visit three months after the baby is born. During the visits the mothers will be monitored as they perform simple physical exercises. 

Dr Mike Lewis who is head of the research team says, “By comparing the two programmes we hope to shed light on this issue with a view to compiling more accurate information on exercise for pregnant women in the future.”

Original article can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-20982641