pregnant women doing yoga together

The Benefits of an Active Pregnancy

The latest accessory in many gyms isn’t a trendy pair of headphones, workout pants or sneaker – it’s a baby bump.

Many moms-to-be are realizing that having a regular fitness routine not just after, but also during pregnancy can be beneficial for their health and that of their babies.

“There are many benefits to exercise in pregnancy that are good for both Mom and baby,” says Dr. Clyner Antalan, an OB-GYN with Kauai Medical Clinic.

Staying active during pregnancy can reduce common problems associated with pregnancy, such as:

  • Back pain.
  • Constipation.
  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Preeclampsia.
  • Excessive weight gain.
  • Risk of a cesarean delivery.

“Exercise in pregnancy also promotes healthy weight-gain during pregnancy and helps prevent the above complications. It also helps you to lose the weight you gained in pregnancy after the baby is born,” Antalan says.

Speaking of gaining weight, many women wonder: What is the appropriate amount of weight gain for a healthy pregnancy?

According to the Institute of Medicine, women should gain the following amount of weight based on their body mass index (BMI) prior to pregnancy:

  • Underweight(BMI less than 18.5) – Gain 28-40 pounds during the entire pregnancy, and about 1 pound per week in the second and third trimesters.
  • Normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9) – Gain 25-35 pounds during the entire pregnancy, and 1 pound per week in the second and third trimesters.
  • Overweight (BMI 25-29.9) – Gain 15-25 pounds during the entire pregnancy, and about 1/2 pound per week in the second and third trimesters.
  • Obese (BMI greater than 30) – Gain 11-20 pounds during the entire pregnancy, and about 1/2 pound per week in the second and third trimesters.
exercisefitnessgynecologyhealthhealth managementmaternityOB-GYNpatient advicepregnancyprenatal carewellnesswomen's health