Running won’t harm you or your unborn child, experts say
Because athletic women have excellent circulation, good blood distribution from frequent exercise contributes to a healthier placenta and foetus
Pregnant women are often told to slow down, not to exert too much effort, and as much as possible to take it easy for the baby. To everyone who possess common sense, this seems a sound advice.
After all, pregnancy does not only involve the life of the mother but her unborn child as well.
But what if you are told that exercising, and even running, regularly is perfectly okay for pregnant mothers to do?
Female athletes are the quintessential examples; they still train for their sport even when pregnant, and as a result their chances of encountering difficulties in pregnancy are lowered.
Not only that, their children have lower risk of having birth defects.
In a BBC report, Prof Kari Bo from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences says: “There are only a few high-quality studies into pregnancy among elite athletes or those who exercise a great deal, but it seems that many do continue to exercise during pregnancy, and it does not affect them in a negative way. It doesn't seem to harm either the foetus or the mother.”
Because athletic women have excellent circulation, the professor says, good blood distribution from frequent exercise contributes to a healthier placenta and foetus.
Even the National Health Service in England encourages mothers to continue exercising when they’re pregnant, but also to make sure that the routines are not high in intensity.
Meanwhile, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage pregnant mothers to participate in aerobic exercises as well as strength training because they lower risk of diabetes and improves mental heath.
The body’s the boss
Despite these encouragements to exercise, professor Kari Bo says that women should listen to what they’re body is telling them. If an exercise routine doesn’t feel right, or proves to be something so difficult you can’t follow it, it’s best to stop and take stock of yourself.
Moreover, a foetus moving in the mother’s womb may feel uncomfortable, and exercising may only exacerbate the discomfort.
She also says that women on their first trimester should stay away from having high body temperature, so for these women exercising in an air conditioned room wearing light work out clothes is best.
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