Lack of exercise in pregnant women impacting births
COLUMBIA - Federal health experts reported in November, nearly half of pregnant women in the United States gain too much weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-third of adults in the United States are obese. The lack of a healthy diet, pre-existing weight problems, and lack of exercise can contribute to complications in a pregnancy.
"Pregnant women who don't have a healthy diet or amount of exercise can suffer from heart problems, sleep apnea, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and blood clots." Eilzabeth Wilson, an OBGYN, said.
Wilson said these complications can lead to an induced pregnancy or C-section. Obese moms-to-be are at greater risk for miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and babies with birth defects.
"There still is the thought that you're eating for two and that's not necessarily true. You don't need to gain more than 15-25 pounds during pregnancy." Wilson said.
For those looking to exercise during pregnancy, Wilson stresses the importance of knowing what is safe for your body.
"If you didn't run before you were pregnant, it's probably not a good idea to start when you're pregnant. You need to ease your way into it. Swimming, cycling, walking, yoga, pilates; those are just a few of the safe exercise options you have." Wilson said.
Wilson said exercising to keep your weight down is important, but more importantly it makes delivery easier.
"Exercise is also going to help with a woman's stamina, something really important when going into delivery, one of the most dfficult physical experiences a woman goes through." Wilson added.
Physicians can help refer you to safe prenatal exercise resources in your area.