Active While Pregnant

February 10, 2022

Ask your Mid-wife

With Sibongile Mokoena, Busamed Harrismith Private Hospital Maternity Unit Manager.

Welcome to 2022, Ask your Mid-wife Q&A Session. Our session is about the importance of staying active while you are pregnant and even increasing your fitness levels.

Pregnancy is a blessing, and the modern expecting mother will ensure that she is informed and educated, and this will go a long way to ease your mind, thoughts and generate positive experiences about the process.

Dr. Thabo Liphapang – resident Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Busamed Harrismith Private hospital supports every expecting mom to be active while pregnant but as pregnancy does differ from woman to woman his advice is for you to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

Q. Why is it important for me to stay active during my Pregnancy?

A. Regular exercise is beneficial to your body, whether you are pregnant or not. When pregnant and you exercise regularly, your posture improves and common discomforts such as backache and fatigue, also decreases. You will lower the risk to develop diseases such as gestational diabetes (this is a diabetes that occurs during pregnancy). Mild exercise will reduce stress levels and believe me you collect more strength and stamina required for labour and delivery.

Q. What happens if I am not active during pregnancy?

A. Not being active or exercising regularly during pregnancy can be harmful to not only your health, but your child’s health as well. You may gain too much weight which increases risks of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (extreme high blood pressure combined with protein in the urine) or even developing general pregnancy pains and aches.
After discussing your needs with your healthcare provider, start with a relaxing programme that will stretch your muscles such as yoga or pilates.

Q. How active should I be, while pregnant?

A. Start with moderate activities for 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, and as your body gets used to this you can slowly intensify your programme. This can be broken into 30 minutes per day. The exercises may include brisk walking.

Q. Can I have an early delivery caused by exercising?

A. No. This is untrue. Moderate exercise approved by your healthcare provider does not, in anyway, increases the risk of early delivery risk of preterm labour.
Being active will stretch and build those important muscles and bones that are needed to carry the weight of your baby and strengthen you for the birth process. Being active may prevent that niggling backache and prevent constipation, swelling and may prevent stretch marks.

Q. Does exercising during pregnancy ease the labour process?

A. Definitely. Studies have shown that mothers who are fit and exercise regularly tend to have less pain, straight forward normal shorter delivery instead of caesarean delivery. So, if you want to reduce your risk of having an unplanned caesarean section, keep fit and walk as much as is comfortable.

For any further information regarding this week’s topic, kindly contact me on 058 624 3045 or visit Busamed Harrismith Private Hospital.

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