Balanced diet, exercise essential during pregnancy

Balanced diet, regular exercise essential during pregnancy

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Even though it’s hard to spare time to exercise once your baby is born, keeping fit during your pregnancy can work wonders to avoid garnering redundant weight. Women are often told to “eat for two” during pregnancy but in general require about 200-500 extra calories in a day only, depending on what stage of pregnancy they are at.

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy intensifies the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, large babies, and delivery by caesarean section. Newborns with large birth weights run the risk of childhood obesity. Most importantly, having healthy diet and doing regular exercise during pregnancy allows building the foundation for your children.

A new review of past research has shown that following a healthy diet and an exercise regimen during your pregnancy can put a check on gaining extra kilos. Both these factors can greatly help expectant mothers not pile on the pounds, researchers in The Cochrane Library have said. The research also provides evidence that taking good care of your health during pregnancy could lower the chances of needing a cesarean delivery and reduce the risk of excessive birth weight and respiratory problems in the newborn.

The review involved researchers investigating data from 65 randomized controlled trials. Then they accumulated information from 49 trials involving 11,444 pregnant women. These pregnant women were assigned to a diet, exercise, a combination of the two or standard care.

It was found that those women who maintained a proper diet, exercised or did a combination of both were around 20% less likely to gain excess weight than the women who followed the standard care routine. The women with balanced diet and exercise were also found to have less incidence of developing high blood pressure when compared to the others.

“This was very reassuring that there wasn’t an increased risk of preterm birth with moderate exercise,” Thornburg, a high-risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, told Reuters Health.

“Most people gain more weight than they probably should during pregnancy,” Thornburg said, adding that women who gain excessive weight may not be able to shed it post pregnancy, increasing medical risks if they get pregnant again. “In the next pregnancy, if you don’t get it off, you may go from obese to very obese,” she added.

Thornburg also advices women to consult with their respective doctors before they start dieting and exercising during pregnancy to ensure they are on the right track.

Thus, it is vital to have a healthy diet and active lifestyle when you are pregnant or planning pregnancy because it can keep you and your baby healthy. This is specifically important if you are overweight or obese because obesity may have cause hindrances for both mother and baby. Therefore, whether you are of sound health or are overweight, healthy eating and regular exercise are a priority during pregnancy.

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