Rosemont, Ill. – Physicians should recommend low to moderate levels of exercise to their pregnant patients, even if they have not exercised prior to pregnancy, states a report published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). According to this review article, exercise can strengthen and improve overall musculoskeletal and physiologic health as well as pregnancy related symptoms. Exercise such as aerobics, impact and nonimpact activities, resistance training and swimming:
- eases back and other musculoskeletal pain;
- lowers maternal blood pressure;
- reduces swelling; and
- improves post-partum mood, including sadness.
According to study author Capt. Marlene DeMaio, M.D., M.C ., U.S.N., Research Director, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Virginia, data shows that the pregnant woman’s body can compensate for the changes with no harm to the fetus during low to moderate intensity exercise.