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Diet and Exercise Help With the Weighty Issues of Pregnancy

By HERWriter
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the weighty issues of pregnancy are easier to handle with diet and exercise Comstock/Thinkstock

Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body as it is harboring a precious life. But, for many women it is sometimes a license to eat whatever they want.

As a new mom, I know that sometimes cravings kick in, not to mention food aversion to even the healthiest of fare.

While extreme dieting is also not advised, doctors caution pregnant women not to go overboard in giving in to their cravings.

A new study from the United Kingdom echoes that sound advice with results showing “that following a healthy diet, overseen by health professionals, stems excess weight gain in pregnancy and reduces the risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, diabetes, high blood pressure and early delivery.”

The study as reported on ScienceDaily.com was recently published in the British Medical Journal and compiled data from more than 40 other studies.

Both the effects of just diet or exercise alone as well as when both are done simultaneously were evaluated. The results looked at the impact on both mothers and babies health.

The results found that dieting alone contributed to a more than 30-percent less likelihood in the development of pre-eclampsia as well as a 60 percent less occurrence of gestational diabetes.

As told to ScienceDaily.com, the researchers hope to confirm these studies with additional larger studies.

From my personal experience as a trainer as well as experience with a recent pregnancy I know that it's important to be mindful that what you are eating is best for both mother and baby.

It is important to make sure you are getting quality calories and enough vital nutrients. Pizza, ice cream and chips are typically not in the nutrient-rich category, while fruits and vegetables obviously are important.

While the above mentioned study focused primarily on the results of dieting alone, I believe prenatal exercise is still important. That is of course, as long as you have no contraindications.

In fact, I exercised and taught exercise classes throughout my pregnancy and was told by my doctor that it truly helped me during labor, delivery and recovery.

A recent article in The New York Times written by Shivani Bora talked about the trends of many fitness studios and clubs catering to pregnant women.

Bora spoke about her own prenatal exercise experience as well, stating, “those with a growing belly can regulate their weight gain, recover faster from delivery, sleep better and lift their moods through regular exercise. What better way to prepare for a new life?”

Prenatal exercise expert and author of Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, James Clapp, agrees, concluding in his book, “Women who exercised regularly during their pregnancy had shorter labors, fewer C-Sections, less uses of forceps and their babies had higher APGAR scores. APGAR is an acronym for Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration and is the test given to a newborn immediately after birth.”


“Weight in Pregnancy Best Controlled by Diet, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily.com” Science Daily. Web. 24 July 2012.

“Prenatal Fitness: Aerobics to Zumba - Shivani Bora – NYTimes.com” The New York Times. Web. 24 July 2012.

Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, 1990; James F. Clapp III M.D.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is a Studio trained and Certified Pilates Instructor as well as holds certifications in Pre-natal/Post-Partum Exercise, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed July 25, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I experienced some blood sugar issues with my pregnancy and I can say that this is an issue that needs much more attention. I urge women to get there weight down "Before" getting pregnant, it can make a huge difference with gestational diabetes. Obesity and Gestational diabetes is on the increase. Diabetes runs in my family and the legs are often a good sign of other troubles. diabetes swollen knee

May 6, 2013 - 3:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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