My wife, Beth, and I just got news that will be expecting our first kid this summer. We’re pretty excited, but obviously had many questions when the pregnancy was confirmed. Like most first parents, we still do.
One of the bigger questions came when we were hearing things from our close family and friends.
“You shouldn’t carry more than 20 pounds,” said one person.
“You won’t be able to run anymore,” said another.
I immediately questioned this advice. Not for nothing, but we’ve been procreating since the beginning of time. Don’t you think that women needed to run from predators at some point while pregnant? Didn’t they have to help gather food and carry it back home to eat? Seems like life didn’t skip a beat and we’ve evolved. If they could do things like that then, we should certainly be able to now.
Of course everyone is going to have their own opinion and most, especially when dealing with a child, are going to err on the side of caution.
But when deciding what is right for you, make sure you have the facts about exercise and its effects, both good and bad, on pregnancy outcomes for the mother and the child.
When doing several literature searches, it seemed like the best book currently available is “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy,” by James F. Clapp III, MD. What drew me in to this book was not only the fact that it was written by a physician, but it is also heavily research-based. The information in this book has come from more than 10 years of research involving more than 250 women. These women were tracked before, during, and after pregnancy with many variables tracked throughout.
In the coming months, I will be giving you a synopsis on the information within this book. Be sure to read this information and pass it on for the benefit of yourself or anyone else you know that may become pregnant.
Here is a schedule of the topics that will be discussed:
1. Why Exercise During Pregnancy? Clarifying the Debate
2. The Effects of Exercise on Fertility, Premature Labor, Feto-Placental Growth, Infant Growth, and Breastfeeding
3. The Benefits of Exercise for the Mother and the Baby
4. Exercise Prescription
5. Exercising Before, During, and After Pregnancy
*Michael Satterley is a doctor of physical therapy and the Director of Sports Therapy Programs at Tidewater’s Performance Center / Oyster Point Physical Therapy Clinic in Newport News.