Bringing a child into this world adds a new, powerful meaning to life. And like with any new adventure, the better prepared you are, the easier the journey. While there are always unknowns on the path ahead, you can physically and emotionally prepare for a more comfortable pregnancy, empowered birth, and smooth postpartum recovery with expert guidance and therapeutic prenatal exercise.
Learn why physical activity and a prenatal exercise program like Every Mother’s Prepare is the best prenatal workout for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.
Why is exercise before and during pregnancy important?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women approved for exercise should ideally get “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.” Here’s why.
Prenatal exercise helps you safely build strength and stamina for birth and reduces the risk of complications.
During pregnancy, our bodies transform. As the fetus grows, the uterus expands, our postures shift, and pressure is placed on the abdominal wall and connective tissue, often straining the core and pelvic floor. This induces a condition known as diastasis recti, a separation of the rectus abdominis or “6-pack” muscles, compromising core integrity and, with it, the muscles we use to push during delivery (the upper abs – including the upper obliques, the upper rectus abdominis, and the upper transverse abdominis).
Working out while pregnant has been shown to reduce common pregnancy discomforts such as back pain and incontinence. And according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), it also reduces the risk of cesarean delivery, gestational diabetes, and helps both mom and baby maintain a healthy weight. On top of that, babies of moms who worked out during pregnancy have been shown to be stronger at birth and can better tolerate the stresses of labor.
It boosts your mood and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
During pregnancy, women are often at their most vulnerable. Hormones fluctuate, and some moms-to-be (one in two pregnant women, in fact) are diagnosed with and/or experience changes in mood and disorders such as depression and anxiety. Research, however, has proven that exercise not only reduces depression but releases *endorphins that assist in improving the quality of your mood while suppressing anxiety and stress. There’s actual science behind why you “feel good” after a workout, no matter how brief or low impact the exercises performed.
*Cardio workouts are a great way to get your endorphins pumping. Check out this list of the best prenatal cardio exercises here.
Prenatal exercise improves your quality of sleep.
Many women report difficulty sleeping during pregnancy for various reasons, such as a growing belly that ultimately makes it harder to get comfortable in bed. Luckily, exercise is proven to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep - no more counting sheep! An NCBI study found that women who engaged in (moderate) recreational physical activity for an average of 20 hours a week reported that they fell asleep much easier than without exercise.
Pro tip: Perform workouts during the day. Exercising in the evening may lead to sleep disruptions caused by a spike in endorphins and heart rate.
It lowers your blood pressure.
During pregnancy, it’s common for blood pressure to elevate. And staying active through guided prenatal workouts like Every Mother’s Prepare program can help prevent blood pressure from rising to harmful levels.
Prenatal exercise helps to relieve constipation.
While many physicians recommend foods or nutrients rich in fiber to alleviate constipation, an active body also plays a crucial role in encouraging bowel movements in pregnant women. Some women report that a brisk 10-minute walk and other light exercises, such as Every Mother’s clinically proven Core Compressions, are also beneficial in relieving constipation.
Exercising while pregnant has measurable benefits during labor.
Studies showcasing the impact exercise has on labor have shown the following:
- 35% decrease in the need for pain relief
- 50% decrease in labor induction
- 75% decrease in the need for operative intervention
- 55% decrease in the need for an episiotomy
- 75% decrease in the incidence of maternal exhaustion
Working out while pregnant benefits both mom and baby and is the key to a healthier, happier pregnancy, subsequent childbirth, and postpartum recovery. Every Mother’s prenatal workout program was created to help expectant mothers feel their best during pregnancy and birth with strength and confidence. We guide women through therapeutic exercises to build core and pelvic floor strength and teach them to effectively ‘open the door’ of the pelvic floor while pushing for an easier, gentler labor. What’s even more convenient is that we provide OB-endorsed, trimester-specific workout routines designed for your stage of pregnancy that can be completed in as little as 10-30 minutes a day from the comfort of your home.
Learn more about Every Mother here.
- Exercise During Pregnancy. (2019, July). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy
- Hinman, S. K., Smith, K. B., Quillen, D. M., & Smith, M. S. (2015c). Exercise in Pregnancy. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, 7(6), 527–531. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622376/
- INTEGRIS Health. (2017b, October). When Pregnancy and Depression Collide. https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2017/october/when-pregnancy-and-depression-collide
- Robinson, L. (2021, December 23). The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise. HelpGuide.Org. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
- Borodulin, K., Evenson, K. R., Monda, K., Wen, F., Herring, A. H., & Dole, N. (2010). Physical activity and sleep among pregnant women. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 24(1), 45–52. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085856/
- Tantawy, S., Kamel, D., Abdel-Basset, W., & Elgohary, H. (2017). Effects of a proposed physical activity and diet control to manage constipation in middle-aged obese women. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, Volume 10, 513–519. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5734236/
- National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2013: With Special Feature on Prescription Drugs. Hyattsville, MD. 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus13.pdf#068
Every Mother unlocks a scientifically proven method to strengthen the body during pregnancy and rebuild it after birth, regardless of how long it has been since you became a mother. We’re a knowledge circle, a community, and a celebration— of the mother you’ve become, and the woman you’ve been all along. Learn more about the EMbody Program™ here.