For Pregnant Women
Being physically active during pregnancy often has the following benefits
- Better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors.
- Fight pregnancy fatigue with an easy walk or pop in a pregnancy exercise video.
- Improve your sleep with exercise.
- Ease pregnancy constipation. An active body encourages active bowels.
- Back pain can be relieved with exercise.
- Exercise may prevent or guard against gestational diabetes.
- A healthier weight baby and recover from the stress of birth more quickly.
- Don’t worry, be happy. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, those feel good chemicals that give you a natural high, improving your mood.
Pregnancy often leaves women feeling less energetic, but regular physical activity can give you more energy to make it through the day. Your strengthened cardiovascular system will give you more endurance, and stronger muscles will allow you to accomplish tasks with less effort.
Physical activity will improve your mood. It will also lessen mood swings, improve your self-image, and allow you to feel a sense of control.
Physical activity helps prepare you for childbirth. Some studies suggest that the fitness level of the mother can result in a shorter labor, fewer medical interventions, and less exhaustion during labor.
One way to add physical activity into your daily life is to start small. If you have not been getting regular exercise prior to pregnancy, you can start by getting a good pair of sneakers or walking shoes and starting a walking program. Some other low-impact activities include stationary biking and yoga (except for poses that involve lying on the back).
Consult with your physician before starting any physical activity
Here are some quick tips to help you stay nutritionally fit during your pregnancy:
- Don't forget breakfast
- Eat food high in fiber
- Eat healthy snacks
- Take prenatal vitamin daily
- Eat 8-12 ounces of seafood per week or about 2 average meals (Avoid fish that are high in mercury, especially swordfish, title fish, shark and king mackerel). Mercury is a metal that can hurt your baby’s development.
- Don't eat soft cheeses(unless are made with pasteurized milk) and lunch meats (unless are reheated to steaming hot)
Eat fresh foods. Avoid contaminated foods, contaminated foods can cause illnesses such as listeria and toxoplasmosis.
Definition of Listeria
Listeria infection is a foodborne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems. Listeria infection is most commonly contracted by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurized milk products.
Definition of Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis (tok-so-plaz-MOE-sis) is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, one of the world's most common parasites. Toxoplasmosis may cause flu-like symptoms in some people, but most people affected never develop signs and symptoms. For infants born to infected mothers and for people with weakened immune systems, toxoplasmosis can cause extremely serious complications.
Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria or Toxoplasmosis infection, but the disease can be fatal to unborn babies and newborns. People who have weakened immune systems also are at higher risk of life-threatening complications. Prompt antibiotic treatment can help curb the effects of the infection.
Some symptoms of listeria or toxoplasmosis are:
- Muscle aches or headaches
Symptoms may begin a few days after you've eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.
Iodine Deficiency and Pregnancy
Your iodine which is generally obtained from iodized salt, produces a thyroid hormone, an essential component for normal brain development in the developing baby. Your body does not produce iodine itself, so you must obtain iodine through food and supplements. Your pregnancy and breastfeeding will increase your iodine needs. You can discuss your iodine needs with your provider.
Vitamin D and Pregnancy
Vitamin D helps to regulate the levels of calcium and phosphate in your body. You need calcium and phosphate to keep your bones and teeth healthy. By not having enough vitamin D when you are pregnant or breastfeeding may prevent your baby from getting enough calcium and phosphate. This can cause him/her to develop weak teeth and bones, and in rare cases, develop rickets. You can discuss your vitamin D level with your provider.
Some experts indicate that 8–18 year olds watch about 4.5 hours of television a day. The average child spends 7 hours on all screen media combined (TV, videos, DVDs, computer time outside of schoolwork and video games.
- Children under age 2 should watch no TV at all
- Children older than 2 should be restricted to just 1–2 hours a day of quality programming
When children think about exercise it means playing and being physically active. Children exercise when they have gym class at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer practice, while riding bikes, or when playing tag.
Children who are physically active sleep better, are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges.
How Much Exercise is enough for kids?
Minimum Daily Activity
No specific requirements
Physical activity should encourage motor development
1 ½ hours
30 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
60 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)
1 hour or more
Break up into bouts of 15 minutes or more
Tips for Raising Fit Children
- Help your children participate in a variety of age-appropriate activities
- Establish a regular schedule for physical activity
- Incorporate activity into daily routines, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Embrace a healthier lifestyle yourself, so you will be a positive role model for your family.
- Keep it fun, so you can count on your children to come back for more
Accessible playgrounds in Michigan website link
For Pregnant Women
What to Expect Foundation
Effect of Exercise on Pregnancy American Pregnancy Association americanpregnancy.org
YMCA Battle Creek Prenatal Fitness Class
Early Childhood Connections
Eat Healthy During Pregnancy Quick Tips from healthfinder.gov
The American Thyroid Association
A source of additional information about iodine