The Benefits of Staying Active During Pregnancy

May 21, 2021
Are you expecting a baby? Here’s why you should stay active as much as possible!

Growing a baby is an amazing task; a gift that only women can do. At the same time, it can cause a lot of stress emotionally and physically. Currently, we are expecting our third baby, due in August! During my first pregnancy, I was really active. I walked a ton, did strength training, took yoga, and swam. In my second pregnancy, I wasn’t able to be as active as I had a toddler to take care of, and I was working a lot, but I tried to walk as much as possible. Currently in my third pregnancy, I have found that I crave exercise like drinking a tall glass of water. I need it to breathe. Life is busy, but exercise helps me feel balanced and gives me the energy to dive back into my life. 

So, what’s your jam? Walking, dancing, swimming, weight lifting, or all of the above? Whatever makes you tick, there are so many benefits to being active during pregnancy, and below are just a few things that have motivated me to exercise as much as possible during my pregnancies.

1. Lower odds of pregnancy and delivery complications

Women who exercise three times a week or more were less likely to have macrocosmic babies (babies weighing more than about nine pounds at birth). Additionally women who took part in some type of fitness program while pregnant were less likely to develop gestational diabetes and less likely to have unplanned cesareans.

2. Increased speed of recovery time

When you’re active during your pregnancy your recovery time is likely to be shorter after childbirth. The muscle memory that you create during your pregnancy will help you lose your pregnancy weight postpartum.

3. Mood Booster

Depression during pregnancy is very common, 37 percent of women say they experience depressive symptoms at some point while expecting, according to a review of several studies. Hormones coupled with stress, anxiety and societal pressure to feel a certain way can do a number on any woman’s emotional state. Exercise can increase endorphins which can help improve your mood and help you cope with life circumstances. 

4. Reduced back pain

Growing a baby puts extra pressure on your lower back and pelvis. Any type of movement may result in less lower-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Swimming is particularly helpful with this as you feel weightless in the water but you’re able to strengthen your joints and muscles without feeling all the strain of carrying extra weight.

5. Fatigue fighter

Tiredness is very common during pregnancy. For me exercise has helped me feel more energized and productive. Most days I want to take a nap but when I walk for at least 30-60 minutes, I have more energy than I would if I had taken a nap. Sometimes it’s hard to get myself out the door but I never regret it when I do. 

Take some small steps towards exercise. If you’re able to exercise with a friend, even better. Just keep moving. Happy pregnancy, mama!

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JoAnn Gruener, RD, CDE

Health Advisor | Email JoAnn 

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