Staying Active for Two: Emotional & Physical Benefits

by | Feb 28, 2024

Fitness Guru Doula, Mom of three and long-standing member of the MM community, Kim Tamsin, talks us through the physical and mental health benefits of physical exercise. 

Being in the middle of the second trimester of my third pregnancy, I can attest that pregnancy has brought a whole host of changes. Among other things, I have discovered what a huge impact an active lifestyle can have on both my wellbeing and the development of my unborn baby.

Exercising during pregnancy may not always be easy, especially when you’re feeling fatigued or experiencing the many side effects that come along with it. However, exercising during pregnancy is more than just a physical activity — it’s a path to emotional balance and a healthy connection with your changing body. Although personally, my doctor has given the green light to my routine, I’ve learned that there are times when exercise needs to be carefully considered. 

When you should take a step back:

Pregnancy is a unique and individual experience, and what’s good for one individual may not suit another. There are times when it’s important to listen to your body and recognise when you should scale back your exercise programme. In the later stages of pregnancy, for example, strenuous activity may be discouraged as the risk of injury or discomfort increases. On the other hand, there are more and more moms who find that they are able to continue with their normal exercise regime without any need to make amendments. Again, listen to what the needs of your body are versus trying to do what everyone else is doing. 

 

Factors that can stop your training:

Certain complications, such as placenta previa or a history of preterm labour, may make it necessary to alter or even temporarily interrupt your exercise programme. It is important that you pay attention to your body’s signals and speak openly with your doctor about any concerns or changes in your physical condition.

The Personal Benefits for the Mother:

This journey has illuminated the multifaceted advantages of incorporating exercise into my daily routine. Amid the many physical changes, I’ve found solace in the endorphin release that accompanies regular exercise. It has become a natural mood lifter, alleviating stress and fostering a positive mental state, essential for navigating the emotional fluctuations that often accompany pregnancy.

 Moreover, the boost in energy levels has been a welcomed surprise. Contrary to misconceptions, staying active has helped combat fatigue, enhancing my stamina and contributing to an overall sense of vitality. The major influence here is actually making the effort to move when you are feeling tired. As my body undergoes transformations, exercise has become a constant, a source of empowerment, and a reminder of the strength within.

 The Benefits for the Developing Baby:

Beyond my own well-being, the advantages extend to the little one growing within. Research suggests that engaging in moderate exercise during pregnancy may contribute to improved cognitive development in infants. The potential for my baby to have a sharper mind and enhanced attention span adds a layer of motivation to my commitment to staying active.

 Furthermore, the reduced risk of gestational diabetes, a common concern during pregnancy, is an empowering aspect. Regular exercise has been associated with better blood sugar regulation, safeguarding both my health and the well-being of my unborn child.

 Consult your doctor:

Before you start exercising during pregnancy, be sure to consult a doctor. He or she will be able to give you personalised advice based on your health history, your current condition and the specific needs of your pregnancy. My doctor has been invaluable in giving me tailored advice to ensure that my exercise program can be seamlessly adapted to the specific needs of my pregnancy.

 Activities such as pregnancy yoga, swimming and brisk walks have not only kept me physically active but have also contributed to a positive attitude and lower stress levels. However, every pregnancy is different, and what works for me may not be suitable for someone else. Therefore, as moms-to-be, we need to prioritize our health and the health of our growing babies by approaching exercise with caution, respect and professional guidance.

 In navigating the delicate balance between staying active and safeguarding the well-being of your unborn child, learn to appreciate the transformative power of exercise during pregnancy. It’s not just about breaking a sweat; it’s about embracing the journey, nurturing a connection with the life growing within, and savouring the moments of this incredible chapter in your life.

Make sure you follow Kim for when you need a Doula and stay connected for more great tips. Instagram @_kimwilliams_