Why Exercise Before, During & After Pregnancy?……. By Dahlas Fletcher

Dahlas is a Pregnancy Exercise Specialist  from Bodyfabulous Pregnancy & Postnatal exercise & nutrition. BornOnline has asked Dahlas to write a few blogs on exercise in pregnancy and exercise in the postnatal period. There are many questions as midwives that we get asked in regards to these topics, and we thought the best way to answer them is to bring in a professional.

We WELCOME Dahlas to the BornOnline Blogging Team! Let’s get started ……….

Often at my pregnancy exercise classes I find many women fall pregnant and suddenly decide now is the time to start exercising. Many have never exercised before in their lives, yet as they have a little one growing inside them they feel they have to instantly get super healthy and fit.
Exercising during pregnancy is a positive decision. You will sleep better, have fewer back aches and a shorter labour. However, try to embark on some form of exercise before you fall pregnant (pre-natal). This is going to make it much easier to stick to an exercise program during your pregnancy, as you will be fitter so won’t feel as exhausted, plus you are less likely to avoid injury.
Yep ..I know…I know… you get too busy, are too stressed and are simply too tired.  I get like this too, so it is important to keep in mind the reasons why exercise will benefit you and your baby.


Keep this list handy when you are having one of those days !

1. To Prevent Disease

Exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of just about every single health problem known to man, from stroke to heart disease to cancer and osteoporosis. Exercise is also a great defense against diabetes, especially gestational diabetes which is becoming more common during pregnancy.

exercise2. To Look Fabulous

Exercise firms your body, improves posture and makes your skin glow and gives you energy. Looking and feeling fabulous is wonderful result of regular exercise.

3. To Burn Fat and Keep It Off

Exercise burns fat and prevents future fat storage. Exercising when pregnant also prevents weight gain in babies by 28% (a new Norwegian study has found). A great way to avoid child obesity.

4. To Have More Energy

Anyone who exercises regularly will tell you that they are more energetic, less easily irritated and are more peaceful. Extra energy during pregnancy and postnatal is something all women need.

5. To Sleep Better

Exercise not only boosts energy levels, but also wears you out. It makes you feel more vibrant during the day and sleep better at night.

6. To Age Slower

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to fight aging. When you age your body loses muscle and bone, while the loss of both are drastically reduced with regular exercise. Exercise also helps reduce inflammation and swelling – a common complaint during pregnancy.

7. To Avoid Back Pain

In most cases, the best thing that you can do to avoid back pain is to move and strengthen those muscles. Consult your physician or physical therapist for guidance if you have a pre-existing condition.

8. To Ease Depression

Postnatal Depression and the Baby Blues can occur during and after pregnancy. Exercise has been proven to help reduce depression. Please seek professional help if you think you are suffering Pre or Post Natal Depression

9. To Reduce Aches and Pains

By strengthening muscles around your tender joints and ligaments; exercise can reduce the aches and pain often associated with pregnancy as your body changes and grows. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program, especially if you have had previous / chronic joint pain.

10. To Stay Mentally Sharp

I often have “baby brain” and “pregnancy brain”. Exercise has been shown to improve memory and other cognitive functions, and seems to have a protective effect against dementia. A Harvard University researcher called exercise “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”

11. Your baby will benefit through preschool and beyond if you exercise while pregnant

Here’s what recent studies say

AT 1 MONTH … Your munchkin will have a stronger heart than her peers, thanks to your regular sweat sessions (at least 90 minutes a week during your pregnancy), (according to a study at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences).
AT 2 YEARS … Your toddler will be trimmer. The more active you are throughout your third trimester, the healthier your child’s height-to-weight ratio will be. (proven by New research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health)
AT 5 YEARS … Your kid will be a whiz! Children of women who exercised at least three times a week while expecting scored higher on intelligence and language tests than those of mamas who didn’t. (says a review in Clinics in Sports Medicine).

12. To Reduce Sick Days

People who exercise regularly are 50% less likely to fall sick. A regular exercise program reduces colds and upper respiratory infections, something you definitely want to avoid when pregnant or nursing a new baby.

photo-7713. To Boost Confidence

Being fit, feeling healthy and having energy are all building blocks to having great confidence. There is no better confidence booster than sticking with a regular exercise program.

14. A better Labour and Recovery

Exercise will ensure you are fit and strong for the BIGGEST workout of your life – Labour. Even if you don’t have a natural birth you are still going to reap all the benefits of an easier post natal recovery if you have exercised prior to giving birth. Trust me, you want to be strong enough to nurse your baby for lengthy periods of time and keep up with a busy toddler.

15. To Enjoy Your Lifestyle

Whatever it is that you love in life – your kids, travel, sports, fashion – it is all more enjoyable when experienced in a fit and healthy body. Exercise so that you are able to enjoy all the great things in life.

So…you know all the benefits of exercising before during and after pregnancy, but what exercise are you going to do ?

Why not join our next bodyfabulous Brisbane pregnancy exercise course. This is suitable for both pregnancy & post pregnant ladies to find out more click here bodyfabulous.com.au or email me at info@bodyfabulous.com.au