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Is it safe to exercise while I’m pregnant?

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Is it safe to exercise while I’m pregnant?

Yes! Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day during pregnancy can have big benefits for both mother and child. However, before starting any exercise program, you should first discuss it with your physician. Although most women are given the green light to exercise all the way through to delivery, some women with high risk pregnancies or complications will need to limit or forgo exercise. Your doctor may also advise you against certain exercises and sports if they are too rough or carry an increased risk of falling due to your shifting center of gravity. For most women, walking, stationary cycling, yoga, swimming and a slew of other exercises are perfectly fine and can make the experience of pregnancy even better.

Benefits of exercise for mothers:

• Alleviates side effects of early pregnancy, such as fatigue and morning sickness
• Reduces stress and improves mood
• Makes labor easier, with quicker recovery times
• Improves cardiovascular function and overall fitness

Benefits of exercise for babies

• Babies are often born at a healthier weight
• Enhances stress tolerance and neurobehavioral maturity
• Increases fitness levels (Studies suggest children whose mothers exercised during pregnancy tend to be leaner at five years of age.)

If you would like to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn for more information on healthy pregnancy, call HealthFinder at East Jefferson General Hospital at 504.456-5000 or go to www.ejgh.org.

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