Pregnancy advice: Docs Encourage Pregnant Women to Increase Exercise

By: Women's Care Florida Staff

Advice for pregnant women has certainly 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 and encourages them to include a daily exercise regime in their pregnancy plans.

In the past, pregnant women were often told not to engage in any exercise and absorb twice as many calories during their pregnancy than they normally would. Today, we know that pregnant women leading an unhealthy lifestyle can cause major medical issues down the road such as childhood obesity.

According to the report, pregnant women without clinical restrictions should be encouraged to follow the same exercise guidelines as adults who are not pregnant. Meaning, they should participate in cardio and moderate strength training exercises “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,” ____ OB at WCF said. “Exercise during pregnancy can help reduce the risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and fetal macrosomia.”

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