Attractive pregnant lady practicing yogaThe body is an amazing thing. Still, the work of carrying and nurturing a baby can be as challenging as it is exciting. Exercise can help. If you are dealing with back aches, exhaustion, constipation or trouble sleeping, a prenatal fitness plan may be just what the doctor ordered. The benefits of exercise don’t stop there. Read on to see why prenatal fitness is good for you and your baby, too.

Labor and delivery

Prenatal fitness can help you build the strength and stamina to get through the physical challenges of labor and delivery a little easier.

Gestational Diabetes

Exercise has long been recommended as protection against diabetes in all people. The prescription also applies to pregnant women at risk for gestational diabetes. One of the most common problems with pregnancy, gestational diabetes can force your baby to process extra glucose and gain more weight. The additional weight can complicate delivery and increase the likelihood of cesarean section or larger episiotomy. Just 30 minutes of exercise daily can help ward off gestational diabetes in women at risk.

Pregnancy blues

Exercise boosts mood and reduces stress levels. Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a swim – whatever feels good (as longs as it is okay with your healthcare provider) to get those endorphins flowing. You will feel good and be doing something good for baby too. Exhaustion is a downer so the boost in energy is another reason to get moving. Exercise can also help you sleep better.

Eliminate constipation

Many pregnant women experience constipation and hemorrhoids. Aerobic exercise can help. Just a couple of 10 to 15 minute daily walking sessions can help waste move more efficiently through your digestive system. Also try swimming, biking, stretching, yoga and even dancing. Avoid starting right after a meal. Exercise on a full stomach can lead to constipation and excess gas.

Postpartum Recovery

Exercise can help you beat the blues and reduce your weight after you deliver your bundle of joy. Exercise is also a great way to practice self care. Being a mother doesn’t mean you can care for yourself less. It actually means you will have to care for yourself more. Ultimately, you will do just about everything better when you feel better.

Pregnancy puts significant demands on your body. Exercise can help your body deal with those demands a bit better. Talk with your doctor to learn which exercise is appropriate for your stage of pregnancy. When you get the go ahead, get moving; exercise is an important tool for cultivating our best physical and emotional health. You’ll need to keep an eye on both to be the kind of mom you really want to be.