Pregnancy and Exercise: How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

By: Women's Care Florida Staff

Advice for pregnant women has undoubtedly changed over time — especially notions about diet and exercise. A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association warns pregnant moms-to-be about the effects of age-old advice. It encourages them to include a daily exercise regime to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

In the past, doctor recommendations with pregnancy diet and exercise had it backward. Women were often told to refrain from exercise. Additionally, doctors informed them to eat twice as many calories as they usually would.

This is advice is not only untrue but also dangerous.

Today, we know that pregnant women leading an unhealthy lifestyle can cause significant medical issues. This notably includes childhood obesity.

Current exercise and pregnancy recommendations

According to the report, pregnant women without clinical restrictions should follow the same exercise guidelines as adults who are not pregnant. Also, they should participate in cardio and moderate strength training exercises. Ideally, this consists of “20 to 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.”

JAMA acknowledges that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists first recognized a “sedentary lifestyle as a major health risk for women” in 1985 and published guidelines for exercise during pregnancy then.

“Yet, few pregnant women achieve an appropriate level of exercise in part because they are uncertain about the types and amount of exercise that can and should be performed,” states the report.

“While exercise may not be right for every pregnant woman, we do encourage capable moms-to-be to work with their obstetrician on creating a nutrition and workout plan,” Dr. Molly Long at WCF said. “Exercise during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and fetal macrosomia.”

Women’s Care Florida encourages all women to have the safest and healthiest pregnancy possible. Before participating in any exercise or making any changes to your diet, please schedule an appointment with your obstetrician.

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