Pregnant Women Are Afraid to Exercise – Are You One of Them?


by For Two Fitness May 11, 2012

Today we are sharing a post from WebMD.com. After all, it’s Pregnancy Awareness Month, and we want our mamas to be aware!   Apparently, despite the research that shows exercise is generally safe and usually beneficial during pregnancy, many women still have fears about it hurting their babies.  Read on to get the facts, and be sure to visit WebMD for the original post, full story including all the great links.  And hey, don’t you think their model would look much better in a fun For Two Fitness tank?  

Many Pregnant Women Fear Exercising

Despite Proven Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy, Many Still Think It Will Harm Their Babies
By 
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

pregnant woman working out
May 10, 2012 — Are you pregnant and afraid to exercise?
Though exercise during pregnancy has proven benefits for healthy women, many still fear it, according to a new study.
“Despite what we have said over the last 10 years, pregnant women are still afraid exercise is going to hurt their child,” says researcher Melissa J. Hague, MD, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.
In her study of 90 women, she found many regular exercisers stopped working out when they became pregnant. Some told her they did not think exercising, even walking, was safe during pregnancy.
“I was really surprised,” she tells WebMD.
Hague presented her findings this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in San Diego.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Expert Opinion

In 2002, ACOG issued an opinion about exercise during pregnancy. Recreational and competitive athletes without pregnancy complications can remain active with their doctor’s OK, it says. They should modify their workouts as medically indicated.
Inactive women should consult their doctors before starting a program, it says.
Moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more most or all days of the week appears safe for pregnant women without complications, it says. Activities with a high risk of falling, contact sports, and scuba diving should not be done.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Study Details

Hague cares for pregnant women in her practice. She was curious as to why so many do not exercise.
She and her team did phone interviews with 90 women. They were 16 to 30 weeks pregnant.
Before becoming pregnant, almost half of the women said they exercised moderately at least 90 minutes a week.
After becoming pregnant, less than 27% did. “They said they were afraid they were going to hurt the baby,” Hague says.
Safety concerns were more of an issue with those who weren’t active, Hague found.
  • About 62% of those who exercised during pregnancy thought working out longer than 30 minutes is safe.
  • Only 18% of those who did not exercise thought so.
Hague found ethnic differences in attitudes toward exercise during pregnancy:
  • Nearly 89% of white women said brisk walking is safe during pregnancy, and 90% said swimming is safe.
  • Only 60% of other ethnic groups thought brisk walking is safe, and only 67% thought swimming is.
Myths passed down within the family may trigger women’s fears, Hague tells WebMD. “If the moms tell them, ‘You are going to hurt the baby,’ they are not going to do it,” she says of exercise during pregnancy.
Certain women were more likely to exercise during pregnancy, including those who believed they could manage it despite a busy schedule. Those who worked outside the home were more likely to fit in exercise during pregnancy.The study findings may reflect Midwest attitudes, says Raul Artal, MD, chair and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health at St. Louis University School of Medicine, and an expert on exercise during pregnancy.  He reviewed the study findings.   “The Midwest is experiencing an epidemic of obesity,” he says. “If the study were done in Colorado, New York, or L.A., there may be different findings,” he tells WebMD.
Doctors must take part of the blame for women not getting the exercise message, he says. “Physicians as a whole don’t receive a lot of education about exercise physiology and behavior modification. This includes exercise and diet.”
“There is still much ignorance about the fact that pregnancy should not be a state of confinement,” Artal says.
Pregnancy, he says, “is a good time to engage in a healthy lifestyle,” including exercise, with certain exceptions such as scuba diving, which can put the fetus at risk for decompression sickness.
“For women who have never exercised, walking is a good way to start” after getting a doctor’s OK, Artal tell WebMD.
Hague says women should focus on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy. “We know exercise has significant benefits for women, including reducing their risk of depression and their risk of excess weight gain,” she says. “Minimizing excess weight gain can reduce the risk of C-section.”

 




For Two Fitness
For Two Fitness

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Fit Pregnancy Starts Here – The For Two Fitness Blog

Five Best Exercises for Mamas-To-Be
Five Best Exercises for Mamas-To-Be

by For Two Fitness January 11, 2016

You’ve been given the go-ahead to continue working out as usual by your doctor, but are some exercises better than others when it comes to helping you reap all of the benefits of working out while pregnant? Let’s take a closer look at why staying active is so important, along with counting down the five best exercises for pregnant women, as identified by Medical News Today...

Read More

Four Top Workout Trends Anticipated in 2016
Four Top Workout Trends Anticipated in 2016

by For Two Fitness January 05, 2016

Whether you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or ready and waiting to welcome your new baby into the world, fitness is probably part of your plans. Will the year ahead find you cycling, swimming, running and yoga-ing your way to fitness, or will you try one of the hot new trends predicted to be all the rage in 2016?..

 

Read More

Ambassador Spotlight – Leah Vernon
Ambassador Spotlight – Leah Vernon

by For Two Fitness December 28, 2015

We are so, so proud to bring to you another amazing addition to our Fit Mom Ambassador Family, Leah Vernon.  Read more to learn all about Leah’s journey of health and fitness and her tips for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. 

My name is Leah, and I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of the For Two Fitness Ohana...

Read More