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Exercising during pregnancy, is it risky?

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Young pregnant woman in swimming pool

Exercising during pregnancy is not forbidden, but all the same it should be monitored and should not be too intensive. However, certain sporty mums-to-be don’t change their fitness habits from before their pregnancies, even a few weeks from giving birth. These « fit moms » are all over social media and never miss an opportunity to share photos of their dream bodies and their almost flat stomachs. 

A new trend

Today more than ever, the trend is towards being sporty no matter what your circumstances. With the key phrase « what’s your excuse? », fit moms invade the internet, and bombard us with photos that would make even the fittest among us jealous. Fit moms are the moms who were already very sporty before they fell pregnant, and who continue with intensive sport throughout their pregnancy. And even if most of them have made exercise their full time activity, certain critics have highlighted the guilt-inducing aspects of these photos: muscly thighs, pert bums, and overall an almost inexistant belly -a far cry from the traditional silhouette of a pregnant woman.

Fit moms never miss the chance to practice any kind of sport, even if it is contra-indicated during pregnancy: running, boxing, rowing, push-ups, even lifting weights. And even if these professionals are no reflection on what pregnancy is really like, they raise certain questions, notably in relation to the impact on their health and the health of their baby.

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What is the impact?

According to several professionals, doing sport is not necessarily contra-indicated during pregnancy, as long as it is practiced in moderation. In fact, exercising too intensely can bring on contractions and premature birth, or even miscarriages. Therefore it’s important to know how to exercise within reason, and not to give in to the pressure these images can put on you. However, moderate physical exercise can be beneficial for both mother and baby.

Many studies have shown that the mother’s behaviour from the moment of conception can modify a woman’s health throughout the pregnancy. Starting to exercise from early in the pregnancy is a good way to keep it up throughout. Exercise can also reduce stress and help you be more positive. You can’t blame your hormones any more!

Experts have contended that this « sport above all » attitude is mainly due to fear, as women find it hard to cope with their bodies changing. In fact, many women find it difficult to look at themselves in the mirror during pregnancy, and sometimes struggle to get their figure back after giving birth. This is the reason that « fit moms » continue to post their post-pregnancy photos online. Sport and pregnancy can go well together, as long as exercise is done at your own pace, and you respect the limits your body places on you.

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