Pregnancy is a time when you want to take best care of yourself, to support yourself through the process, and to prepare yourself for childbirth and beyond. A number of physical and hormonal changes occur during the different stages of pregnancy, to help your body to accommodate your growing baby. Getting active during your pregnancy should make it easier for your body to adapt with these changes, to cope with labour and for post-partum recovery.
Being active during pregnancy is not only a great idea for the physical benefits, but it can also improve your emotional wellbeing. A number of studies have shown that pregnant women feel an improvement in mood, and a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression from regular movement or exercise.
Of course, this self-care is not just about your own health, but also about your baby’s wellbeing. If you are physically active, it will impact positively on your child’s health. It has been shown that even prior to birth, the babies of exercising mothers had developed “stronger, more athletic hearts” than the babies of sedentary mums (May et al., 2011).