Exercise during pregnancy benefits for baby

The NHS actively encourages mothers-to-be to exercise; there are loads of health and mood-boosting benefits and exercising may even help prevent complications like pre-eclampsia. With a holistic approach to exercise, aquanatal classes are led by qualified teachers who guide the class through movements and stretches in the pool. Many mothers believe that swimming while pregnant benefits the baby before they are born and helps them adjust to water after birth (something we’ll cover later).
Cycling can help manage weight and prepare muscles for labour and birth, but taking a bike on the roads comes with certain risks. We all know that yoga is great for increased flexibility, but as it also places focus on breathing and body alignment, it has long-lasting benefits beyond the weekly class. Yoga has the added benefit of being a great exercise to do from home – you can find YouTube tutorials (like this series) that are tailored to pregnant mums-to-be.

This could be as simple as walking home from work a couple of times a week or walking to a friend’s house for a cup of tea. If you worked out throughout your pregnancy and had a straightforward, natural birth, you should be able to start gentle exercise pretty soon after the birth. Gentle walking with a pushchair is another great way to start introducing exercise back into your routine. All words and photos belong to the blog's owner except for when otherwise credited with a link back to the original source. It’ll also help you get into shape for labour and birth (and anything that helps with that gets a gold star in our book!). If you didn’t cycle regularly before you got pregnant, play it safe and cycle at home or the gym.

There are also dedicated postnatal exercise classes, which have the added benefit of helping you meet other new mums. Cycling is less impactful upon the lower joints such as ankles, which is beneficial throughout pregnancy as the extremities are already exposed to additional pressure. Even everyday tasks such as walking to the local shop or housework can count towards your daily exercise goal.

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