Sign in Register
Posted On: 6 February 2022 09:26 pm

Exercise during pregnancy to stay fit for labor and for good health after childbirth: Dr. Khenyab

Discuss here!
Start a discussion
Exercise during pregnancy to stay fit for labor and for good health after childbirth: Dr. Khenyab

National Health Strategy Lead for Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies and Senior Consultant Obstetrics/Gynecology at Women’s Wellness and Research Center, Dr. Najat Khenyab is encouraging pregnant women on the occasion of Qatar National Sports Day to exercise and continue to do so throughout their pregnancy in order to remain fit for labor and to recover physically faster after childbirth.

Dr. Khenyab said:

“As Qatar residents are being encouraged to exercise on National Sports Day, we will also like to advise pregnant women or those that just had their babies to take the opportunity of this notable event in Qatar to exercise their bodies and try to do so regularly in order to stay in shape and remain healthy.”

Dr. Khenyab points out that staying active through regular physical activities such as walking could help pregnant women to have less back pain, pelvic pain, and control their weight gain. It could also prevent them from having obesity and gestational diabetics (diabetes during pregnancy).

“Exercises during pregnancy, just as for everyone else, release endorphin hormones that help improve mood while diminishing stress and anxiety. Engaging in daily exercise will allow you to do your tasks with less effort and you will have more energy throughout the day. Also, exercising consistently during pregnancy will improve your quality of sleep and makes you feel more rested."

However, she cautions that it is always important to seek professional advice first before exercising. “While it is important for pregnant women to stay active throughout their pregnancy, it is equally advisable that they consult their attending physicians first to know if it is safe for them to exercise and what types of exercises they can engage in,” she states.

“By consulting their either their physicians or midwives or health educators, pregnant women can know their body’s needs and which exercise to do to suit their body. Every pregnant woman is different. So, individuals should know what kind of exercise will work best for her body and not put her baby in harm’s way. In addition, how much a woman is able to cope with exercising while pregnant might also depend on how much fitness they had engaged in prior to getting pregnant.”

Ms. Fahima Yusuf, Director of Nursing & Midwifery-Community Midwifery & Patient Family Education at WWRC says exercising in pregnancy will improve the possibility of having a natural birth and reduce a woman’s risk of having a medical intervention and can also facilitate a swift postnatal recovery.

Ms. Yusuf noted:

“Women who exercise regularly before and during pregnancy and after having their babies are already on the way to maintaining good health for themselves and their babies. A stronger mom will have an easier time meeting the demands of motherhood. The goal of exercising while pregnant is to maintain optimum health for the development of the baby and to help adapt to the changes in the mother’s body. Likewise, if a woman who has recently had a baby exercises, along with eating balanced and healthy meals, this could promote the loss of excess weight she gained while pregnant and she could easily get back to her pre-pregnancy body.”

Ms. Noora Al Mudahka, Chief of Physiotherapy at HMC said:

“We recommend that pregnant women maintain a regular exercise routine throughout pregnancy to help them stay healthy, improve posture and decrease some common discomforts like backaches and fatigue. Our advice is to start slow exercise and take frequent breaks in between. As the days go on, they can increase the time they spend at each workout. Healthy pregnant women without any complications can aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day (five days a week).”
She explains that if women used to exercise regularly before pregnancy, they can continue the same activities after consulting with their doctor and after making some adjustments to the previous exercises. According to Ms. Al Mudahka, walking is a simple but effective form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere and anytime.

“If you were not engaged in any exercises prior to getting pregnant, you should start with easy exercises and gradually increase the intensity. Walking during pregnancy is important for a pregnant woman’s overall health and the health of her baby. Walking in pregnancy is safe and can improve the pregnancy outcome. When women walk for at least 30 minutes a day during pregnancy, they can strengthen their back muscles, improve their mood and fatigue level.”

While exercising is good for the body, she advises pregnant women to avoid lying flat on their back (especially after the first three months of pregnancy); avoid exercising outdoors in hot or humid weather; drink plenty of water and fluids during and after exercising. Ms. Al Mudahka adds that pregnant women should stop exercising if they get out of breath and can't talk easily or if they start seeing signs of labor like contractions.

Source: Hamad Medical Corporation