I’ve attended enough births now to see some patterns. There are always exceptions so nobody jump on me if you or someone you knew didn’t fit those patterns. ;) One that I’ve come to recognize is that exercise before, during, and after pregnancy is important.
Know that I’m not saying this as someone who actually managed to make it happen consistently during my own pregnancies. Two major moves and three different jobs kind of wrecked it with the first one and bronchitis for two months kill all good intentions with the second. I’m also not saying it as a comment on size. We can be active and fit at all sorts of shapes and sizes…and not active and not fit at all shapes and sizes. Finally, I'm not saying it to add to your guilt of not getting to that needed one more thing. Believe me. I've been there.
But moving our bodies is important for our health and well-being and this holds true during pregnancy as well. As long as you and baby are healthy, of course, and you consider some of the precautions here depending on the weather. Something I’ve seen consistently as a doula is that women who are intentional about fitness and movement usually have easier labors and births.
Now, if you were a marathoner before pregnancy, your doctor might recommend that you tone it down a bit. But even if you aren’t a gym rat before your pregnancy, there are things you can start now. A prenatal yoga class would not only help your fitness, it also would give you an opportunity to connect with other expectant moms. Or make a walking date with friends. We are fortunate to live in a community with lots of walking trails and parks. Swim if you have access to a pool or even maybe consider a water aerobics class. If you can’t find one specific for pregnancy, talk to the instructor ahead of time to make sure it’s appropriate. Another great option is belly dancing. As always, discuss any kind of fitness/lifestyle change with your doctor ahead of time.
Here are a few local resources of places you might find helpful.
IU North Hospital with Mimi Sosa
Home4Birth with Lauren Windle
Source Yoga with Lauren Windle
Pea in the Pod Fitness with Abby Kurtz
Here are a few YouTube options if in person just doesn’t work for your schedule.
Prenatal Yoga-- one of many options
Prenatal Belly Dancing--also one of many options
My point is, get moving! Exercise improves mood, helps stabilize hormones, and improves your chances of an easy birth.
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin