Spring Letter 2014
Getting Up and Moving
Spring is finally in the air! After one of the toughest winters I can remember living in the Northeast, everyone in my house – including the dog – is ready to go outside and get moving. I’ve always craved exercise and when I can’t move enough, I get cranky.
I think back to the days when I was pregnant with my son during a hot, sticky summer in Atlanta. Toward the end, I could hardly move. But somehow, I got myself to a local pool and swam. I remember how great it felt to be in the water and how much better I felt afterwards. While it was a struggle in those final days, I think it helped me stay in good shape and enabled me to deliver with minimal drama.
A midwife recently told me “back in the day” the recommendation was to cut down or even stop exercising while expecting. I can’t imagine nine months of sitting on the couch.
Today, doctors say, physical activity can be key to a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a half hour of daily, moderate exercise unless there is a medical restriction or complication. Research shows staying active may prevent gestational diabetes, reduce backaches and increase energy.
While it’s certainly not the time to begin training for a marathon or sign up for horseback riding lessons, women who already are physically active and have no pregnancy complications usually can continue. One of my patients shared that by modifying her Zumba classes, she was able to teach until the day she went into labor. Her story, of course is exceptional. Talk to your doctor about what’s safe, listen to your body and keep moving as much as you can. Regular physical activity will not only benefit you and your baby during pregnancy, but also help you spring back into shape once your little one is here.
Linda Ciampa, RN