BY: GOITUMETSWE MOSEKI
Seven years ago when I found out that I was pregnant and expecting my first child, as much as I was excited, I was also a bit worried about what that meant for my fitness lifestyle. Would I have to stop exercising because I was pregnant and also had uterine fibroids? If I stopped, wouldn’t I gain back all that weight I had lost? If I exercised how would that affect my pregnancy and the development of my unborn child? These were all questions I had in relation to keeping up with my fitness lifestyle, and so I made it a point to discuss my concerns with my gynecologist during our very first appointment. It was then that I learned about the vital importance and benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Upon advice from my doctor, I continued to exercise up until the day before my scheduled caesarean delivery. What is important to note is that whether a fitness fanatic or a novice, you first need to consult with your doctor before engaging or continuing with your fitness training during pregnancy. The fact is – there are pre-existing conditions such as heart, lung diseases, asthma and even pregnancy related conditions that could make exercise unsafe for you and the unborn baby.
In this article I share some of the benefits of exercise and the various ways to keep fit during pregnancy.
It improves your fitness and strength which helps in preparing your body and muscles for labour. For me personally, maintaining my fitness during pregnancy helped a lot as it made the C-section pain more bearable and allowed me to get back on my feet and functioning by the time I was discharged from hospital. When I left the hospital, the doctor asked that I do not sit for extended periods of times. For my body to heal quickly and to avoid clotting, I had to keep moving around at least every one hour. Due to my fitness I was able to do as instructed and in the process I healed quickly from the surgery and essentially got back to normal life within weeks.