Physical activity during pregnancy decreases the risk of complications and premature birth – News

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Pregnant women will benefit from a 4D ultrasound, clinical assessment and personalized physical activity plan at the new Exercise in Pregnancy clinic.

Pregnant women will benefit from a 4D ultrasound, clinical assessment and personalized physical activity plan at the new Exercise in Pregnancy clinic.Two doctors from UAB Medicine want pregnant women to add another prescription to their medical care. An exercise prescription.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends physical activity and exercise during pregnancy, but many pregnant patients do not receive adequate exercise recommendations.

Sara Gould, MD, associate professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine at UAB, and Chase Cawyer, MD, assistant professor in the division of maternal and fetal medicine at UAB, established the new exercise in the pregnancy clinic at UAB hospital. – Highlands to fight against physical inactivity during pregnancy.

“Exercising throughout life, including during pregnancy, can help maintain heart shape, reduce obesity and related conditions, and prevent pregnancy complications,” Cawyer said. “The Pregnancy Exercise Clinic bridges the gap between physician recommendations and action plans for pregnant women. “

Physical inactivity is one of the top five reasons women die young. Exercise is an essential part of a healthy and long life. During pregnancy, exercise reduces the risk of pregnancy-related complications, improves a woman’s overall health, and helps with postpartum recovery.

Studies have shown that physical inactivity during pregnancy can cause maternal obesity and create a higher risk of preterm birth, emergency cesarean delivery, and preeclampsia. Sedentary pregnant patients are also more likely to develop gestational diabetes mellitus, a condition in which hormones in the placenta prevent the body from using insulin effectively. GD, while manageable, increases the risk of a cesarean delivery, severe difficulty breathing, and of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Additionally, the United States has experienced a growing problem of obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy, leading to serious health risks for both mother and fetus, even with strong recommendations from ACOG to do so. exercise during pregnancy. In one study, Gould assessed why many pregnant women did not follow exercise guidelines and obstetrician beliefs and recommendations regarding exercise during pregnancy.

Heads of Sara Gould, MD, and Chase Cawyer, MD (Photo: Steve Wood and Nik Layman)Sara Gould, MD, and Chase Cawyer, MD
(Photography: Steve Wood and Nik Layman)
“Exercise is a known way to fight obesity and the epidemic of excessive weight gain, but surveys have shown that many providers do not provide adequate and thorough exercise recommendations to their patients,” he said. Gould said. “While following the guidelines, most providers have advised patients with uncomplicated pregnancies to continue with their current training programs. This advice ignored many pregnant women, especially overweight ones, who did not have consistent healthy habits prior to pregnancy.

Physical activity not only reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, but also helps women adjust to the many physiological changes their bodies go through during pregnancy. More than 60 percent of pregnant patients suffer from back pain due to weight gain and increased pressure on the joints and spine. Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles through exercise can reduce pain. Women also experience respiratory changes during pregnancy. Being able to provide enough oxygen to the fetus is important for a healthy pregnancy. Aerobic training throughout pregnancy can increase aerobic capacity in pregnant women and improve oxygen levels.

While exercise is beneficial for pregnant women and poses minimal risks, ACOG also recommends that providers assess patients to establish an exercise routine and ensure there is no reason. medical avoidance of exercise. Participants in exercise during pregnancy will receive a clinical evaluation, including a four-dimensional ultrasound and fitness tests. Cawyer and Gould will then assess the participant’s results and history and develop a personalized exercise plan. Participants will attend the clinic quarterly for reassessment and to adjust plans as physiological changes occur.

Those interested in learning more about the Pregnancy Exercise Clinic or wanting to make an appointment can call 205-930-8339.

“The program is a great opportunity for all pregnant women to learn how to exercise safely during their pregnancy,” said Gould. “It is also an opportunity for those who may never have exercised before to learn how to establish healthy habits that they can continue after giving birth.”

Those interested in learning more about the Pregnancy Exercise Clinic or wanting to make an appointment can call 205-930-8339.


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