MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information
Pregnant & Fit, By Lisa Stone
ACE-Certified Pre- & Post-Natal Fitness Specialist
Okay, so last January's New Year's resolution to stay fit went out the window, and now you are pregnant! Before you throw caution to the wind and eat another quart of Java Chip, remember that the extra weight you gain now is still going to be there long after Junior is on the outside. So, what to do? Exercise!
PREGNANCY WEIGHT GAIN
The ideal amount of weight to gain during pregnancy varies from person to person. However, the recommended range for a woman of normal weight is 25 to 35 pounds, which takes into account the weight of the baby, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and increased breast size. Any weight gained in excess of 35 pounds is probably just extra fat weight which you will need to deal with after the baby is born. By moderately exercising throughout your pregnancy, you will be better able to control your weight gain, making it easier to fit into your regular clothing once baby arrives.
Staying fit throughout your pregnancy has many advantages. First of all, you will feel better. The endorphins that your body produces during exercise make you feel happy. Regular exercise will give you energy during the day and help you sleep better at night. Further, when you exercise, you regain a sense of control over your expanding body, which is a huge psychological boost.
Secondly, you will be better prepared for labor. The process of giving birth is physically grueling. It requires stamina and strength. By participating in a prenatal exercise program, you can get your body ready for Labor Day. You will build up your cardiovascular endurance and strengthen the muscles you will use during labor, such as your pelvic floor and quadriceps. You would not think of showing up to run a marathon without having trained for it; the same should go for labor.
Thirdly, you will regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly. Studies have shown that women who continued to exercise vigorously throughout pregnancy gained less fat weight than women who did not. Also, these women had babies on the smaller end of the healthy range which made for a quicker recovery. The sooner you feel better post-partum, the sooner you can return to your exercise program to tone up the muscles stretched beyond recognition by your pregnancy.
So, what type of exercise is safe during pregnancy? If you were exercising regularly before becoming pregnant, then you can continue your program with few modifications. However, if you are new to exercise, you need to start slowly, building your intensity as you become stronger. A good place to start is with walking. Weather permitting, take your walks outdoors so that you get the added advantage of fresh air and sunshine. Start slowly by walking at a moderate to brisk pace (3 to 3.5 miles per hour) for 20 to 30 minutes at least 3 days a week. As your body is able, increase your speed and endurance, making sure to warm up and cool down for at least five minutes before and after each walk. Also, include five minutes of gentle stretching after your workouts to avoid muscle tightness and soreness the next day.
With any type of exercise during pregnancy, there are some ground rules that you need to follow. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a set of guidelines in 1994 for pregnant women who want to stay in shape. ACOG says that regular exercise (at least three times per week) is better than working out less often. You should avoid exercise in the supine (back-lying) position after the first trimester so that blood flow is not diverted away from your baby. Be aware of your decreased oxygen availability: pay close attention to your body's signals and stop exercising when you become fatigued. - Also, be aware of your changing center of gravity and decreased sense of balance. Avoid exercises that require sudden changes of direction and that involve risk of abdominal injury such as downhill skiing or contact sports. Remember that pregnancy requires an additional 300 calories per day in order to grow a healthy baby; be sure to increase your calorie intake accordingly to compensate for calories burned during exercise. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and drink plenty of water before, during, and after each exercise session to stay well-hydrated. - Finally, ACOG reminds us that many of the physical changes that take place during pregnancy remain for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum, so pre-pregnancy exercise routines should be resumed gradually.
By following ACOG's guidelines, you should be able to find a safe way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. Whatever form of exercise you choose, just make sure to listen to your body, drink plenty of water, and, most importantly, have fun!
Lisa Stone is the creator and president of Fit For 2. She is a recognized spokesperson on pre- and post-natal fitness issues and is a certified fitness instructor through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) with specialty certification in pre- & post-natal fitness. She has written articles for local and national publications on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy and the post-partum period. Visit Lisa's website
Fit For 2 video is the state-of-the-art pre-natal workout and is the only pregnancy step aerobic video on the market today that combines the most current high-energy aerobic techniques and choreography with the latest ACOG exercise guidelines for pregnancy. The Fit For 2 video gives the pregnant woman a way to challenge herself physically while knowing that she is not compromising her own safety or that of her baby. Also, the Fit For 2 video allows different levels of intensity for women who are new to exercise and women who do not own Step equipment. For more information or to order the video click here.
NOTE: It is recommended, especially if you have been sedentary for some time, to be physically evaluated by your health care provider or midwife before starting any exercise or fitness program.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information Index
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
MOONDRAGON'S MERCHANT VENDORS & PRODUCTS
Educational materials and health products are available through Amazon.com.
Use the search box provided below to search for a particular item.
MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.