Women who exercise during pregnancy may have a shorter labour, claims a Spanish based study. The study claimed that women who exercise just three times per week during pregnancy could have a shorter labour. The study published the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, stated that women who were engaged a regular exercise regimen during their term, may benefit immensely during the time of their labour.
500 women were divided into two groups, for the study.The researchers made one of the group to do sessions of moderate exercise, led by a professional three times per week, based on an exercise regimen recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
In the other hand, the other group of women went on about their usual routine. They were given periodic sessions about nutrition and physical activity during prenatal checkups.
The researchers claimed that there was a significant difference in the labour room. The first stage of labor -- the beginning of labor to full opening of the cervix -- was an average of 53 minutes shorter for women in the exercise program.
The study also claimed that women who exercised experienced a total labor time that was an average of 57 minutes shorter than the women not led in exercise. These women were also less likely to get an epidural, claimed the study.
It is recommended that pregnant women engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Regular exercise may also help them stave off the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia,reduce back pain, and strengthen heart and blood vessels.
However it is advised that women take adequate advise from their obstetrician or other health professionals about exercise during pregnancy, before starting. The intensity of a workout is closely linked to your level of physical fitness before becoming pregnant. Women who were not so much into fitness, may want to keep their sessions light. Women who have been actively following a fitness regimen may maintain the same intensity of workouts, after having consulted the experts.
Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time. With so much happening within your body, any negligence in terms of diet, nutrition, exercise could lead to serious ramifications.
According to consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta, who wasn't part of the study listed out some of the definite must haves for a healthy pregnancy are:
1. Proteins: Proteins are essential for the healthy growth of the foetus and to maintain the mother's health. Proteins form the building blocks for blood, bones, organs, muscles and tissues. Your daily diet should have an additional 0.5g of proteins in the first trimester, 6.9g in the second and 22.7g in the third trimester. So you need about 78g of proteins in the third trimester.
2. Folic acid or Folate: Folic Acid plays a crucial role in preventing neural tube defect, serious abnormalities of the spinal cord and brain. It is also helpful in increasing birth weight, synthesis of haemoglobin and reducing the incidence of pre-mature births. The recommended allowance is 500micro g/day.
3. Iron: In the form of haemoglobin, Iron is essential to carry oxygen in our blood. During pregnancy the body needs to increase the blood volume to meet the demands of the growing foetus, hence more Iron in the diet is essential. Anemia is one of the leading causes of premature birth and low birth weight. Indian women need 35mg/d of Iron during pregnancy.
4. Calcium: Calcium is needed to build healthy bones and teeth of the baby and for the production of calcium rich breast. ICMR has listed the daily Calcium requirement for pregnant women at 1200mg. An important factor in choosing the source of calcium is its bioavailability- Milk is one of the best sources of biologically available calcium.
5. Vitamin A: Vitamin is required for healthy vision, immune function and foetal growth and development. Including Vitamin A containing foods like animal sources such as milk, butter, egg and fish or Beta carotene rich vegetarian sources in daily diet can help achieve enough Vitamin A