Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pregnancy and Weight Gain

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has issues an OPINION piece, called a Committee Opinion, this month on physical activity during pregnancy. This opinion replaces an earlier opinion published in 2002.

Their recommendations are that all healthy women with healthy fetus' have at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, every day, from the earliest onset of their known pregnancy throughout the entire pregnancy until the birth of their child.

"Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy."

As a Childbirth Educator and a Certified Doula I have always taught that it is important for pregnant women seeking a better birth, to have aerobic activity every day. I always suggest a brisk walk for one hour, every day of the week.  The proper diet and caloric intake coupled with a one-hour brisk walk will not only help maintain proper weight gain for the full 40-42 weeks of pregnancy, but it will strengthen a mother's endurance, her muscles and make her healthier over all.

The added benefits to this regimen is that it "reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in obese women, and enhances psychologic well-being", according to ACOG.

ACOG concludes there is no evidence of harm to mother or baby when not contraindicated (see chart) and observational studies of women who exercise during pregnancy have shown benefits such as decreased cesarean and operative vaginal delivery (vacuum and forceps), and postpartum recovery time.

To learn more about nutrition during pregnancy and other important topics for a better pregnancy and childbirth it is recommended that you take a childbirth education class between week 12-15 for optimal results. Although taking an education class at any point in your pregnancy is important, I highly recommend the sooner you take your classes the better. The earlier you begin learning the important information, the more time you will have to apply the topics to your life and receive the most benefits.

I teach private Childbirth Educational Classes in the privacy of your home anywhere in NYC and Nassau County, NY. Private classes take two sessions that are generally 3 hours each visit. My classes cover the topic of nutrition and exercise in a comprehensive manner. Once a month I also teach a one-day intensive that includes a lecture portion from Eulix Vargas, LAc (Acupuncturist) on the pressure points that can help during pregnancy for numerous health issues including, sleep, pain, emotions, breech babies, and help to get labor started when and if needed. This one-day intensive is 8 hours and is in a classroom setting with other parents (based on interest of five or more couples at a collective time.)

For more information or to schedule a private class or sign up for our next one-day intensive class please visit www.nycdoulaservice.com or call 917-617-7905