When Australian fitness model and health advocate Sophie Guidolin uploaded a photo of herself weightlifting while heavy with pregnant twins, whom she has already given birth, she received nasty comments online, saying she's endangering her children. But in an obstetrics study, exercising may actually be good for both the mother and the baby.
Based on a study conducted among 5,300 pregnant mothers, those who exercise are at least 30% less likely to deliver large babies. They also have a decreased risk of giving birth through a Caesarian section by 20%. The research is already available in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Earlier this month, Diabetes UK, a charity organization, urges mothers to avoid putting on so much weight during the pregnancy as it may only increase the risk of gestational diabetes and diabetes among their children by as much as 6 times. Another study also showed the link between obesity among pregnant mothers and the risk of stillbirth. A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh cites that the higher the body mass index (BMI) of the mother is, the higher the possibility of stillbirth due to placental diseases. BMI is one of the factors used to determine obesity as it measures the amount of fat based on the person's actual weight and height.
According to a BMI pregnancy chart by the Utah Department of Health, a woman who has a BMI of at least 30 during pre-pregnancy should gain no more than 20 pounds on the actual pregnancy.
But how should pregnant women exercise? Sports Medicine Australia recommends regular moderate exercise throughout the pregnancy. Women who are already in their last trimester can still engage in vigorous exercise, but it should be limited to only three sessions within the period. Those who have given birth must take a rest and go back to exercising six weeks after delivery. Most of all, pregnant mothers should exercise with the close supervision of their doctor.