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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Effect Of Inactivity During Pregnancy

When Stella, 22, was heavy with child, she was pampered like an egg. The husband stopped her from doing house chores. She was chauffeur-driven, a cook was employed who did the cooking and tidying up the kitchen. Her houseboy was also responsible for the washing and cleaning of all the rooms in the duplex.

She stopped going to her hair salon and beauty shop but monitored her workers on the phone. All she was doing was to wake up from sleep, step into her bathtub, take her bathe, powder her face and sit before the telly till nightfall when she would go back to bed. But her TV, telephones and some of her friends who visited to gossip with her kept her busy.

Stella is the second wife of her husband. The first couldn’t give birth since 15 years that she was married. Thus, when Stella took in but wasn’t married, the pregnancy was miscarried after four months. Ever since, nothing clicked. But when she became pregnant again, she was married immediately and brought into the main house while the first wife was sent to the boys’ quarters of the house. For that reason, she was barred from doing anything but to carry her unborn baby in her uterus.

One thing this expectant mum noticed about herself was that she was constantly complaining of back pain, joint dysfunction and swollen legs, maybe, for sitting for too long at a place. The regular 30 minutes of moderate physical activities medical experts advise that pregnant women should be doing, she wasn’t doing it, just for the fear of having a miscarriage.Medical experts frown at this kind of sedentary or inactive lifestyle and they have reasons for that.

“The aim of moderate physical activities or mild exercising during pregnancy is to maintain a good health condition for both mother and unborn baby. So, sitting idly and not doing anything in the house is not ideal for you,” said a Lagos-based medical doctor.Exercise, however, is good for both mother and the unborn child. It keeps you aerobically fit and your weight under control. It probably reduces the chances of difficulties while in labour.

Researchers asked almost 12,000 new mothers how many times they had their exercise during pregnancy. The women were also asked about their jobs, the weight of their babies and whether they were born early.

The information showed that mentally unstimulating work, including doing jobs around the house day-in day-out, increased the chances of giving birth at least three weeks earlier by up to 25 per cent. Although it isn’t clear why, researchers think it may be that boring tasks increase levels of stress hormones involved in triggering labour.

This is a good point after all, no pregnant mum would love to carry her baby above term and go through the rigours of inducement before labour can set in. So, pregnancy shouldn’t hinder your being active.

Researcher Hajo Wildschut, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said: “Pregnancy is not a disease. In fact, most women who are pregnant are healthy and most of them are being delivered of perfectly healthy babies. Women who are healthy and do not have pregnancy complications should not restrict their activities in order to achieve a better pregnancy outcome.They may safely continue their normal daily physical activities such as jogging, squash and weight training even until late in pregnancy.”

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom, says that in most cases exercise in pregnancy is safe but you should avoid strenuous ones such as cycling, ice-skating and horse-riding.

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