Some little snippets of legitimate research on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy (take from the article Pregnancy Fitness on the Birthing Naturally website):


1. A 1992 study by Lois Jovanovic-Peterson found that mothers who were experiencing gestational diabetes could, by doing aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes three times a week, lower their blood sugar levels to the point that they no longer needed insulin shots.


2. At the 2002 annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Dr. Tanya K. Sorensen reported that vigorous exercise during pregnancy appears to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.


3. A study reported in the Family Practice Research Journal in 1991 showed that mothers who exercised 20 minutes three times a week for at least 20 weeks of their pregnancy had shorter second stages and fewer complications during labor than mothers who didn’t exercise.


4. James Clapp, M.D., reported in 1996 that women who exercised during pregnancy had their babies an average of 5 days earlier than non-exercisers and had less need for medical intervention. In his paper to The American Journal of Sports Medicine he stated, “The active phase of their labors is about 2 hours shorter, clinical and laboratory evidence of fetal stress is decreased, and the incidence of operative delivery (forceps or cesarean section) is reduced from 48% to 14%.”


5. In 1993, Maureen C. Hatch and her coworkers at Columbia University in New York City found that mothers who exercised tended to have bigger babies, which can mean that the babies are better fit to handle illnesses.


6. In a 1997 study out of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, James Clapp, M.D., found that by age 5, the babies of mothers who exercised for at least 30 minutes three times a week had lower levels of body fat and scored higher on the Wechsler test of general intelligence and coordination, as well as on tests of oral language skills.


7. In 2003, a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that mothers who exercised during pregnancy reported less depression, daily hassles, state-anxiety and pregnancy-specific stress while in the first and second trimesters.


So there you have it.  Exercise during pregnancy is good stuff! 🙂



Kettlebells on the beach, back at 9 weeks (the tummy is not quite so flat these days!)

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