a Personal Trainer it would make interesting Reading for you or even as a recommendation for any clients that are pregnant that just want more info than -' don't take your heart rate over 140', 'don't do any impact', 'just swim, walk and do yoga', 'don't start exercising during pregnancy if you weren't' etc etc.
Exercising Through Your Pregnancy - James F.Clapp III. M.D.
I am Pre and Post Natal qualified but I know how much the guidelines have changed since I did my qually and how much they continue to change.
As this is an area I want to move into more professionally and for obvious personal reasons I have been doing lots of research on the WWW but still had some questions, every site I can across (apart from the Medical ones, which still took a stand back stance really!) were just sticking to the old 'yes exercise is good, but keep it to swimming, yoga and walking' 'keep your heart rate here.....' etc etc and yes these are great guidelines for the general population but for those who were regularly active before its not really applicable or what we want to hear.
This is rightly so according to this book.
Chapter 1 starts with - CLARIFYING THE DEBATE OVER EXERCISE AND PREGNANCY, Dr Clapp received a call back in 1970 that was an inquiry about the effects of Mountain Climbing on a woman and her fetus during early pregnancy, the questions were such things as - would the decreased oxygen in the air induce malformations in the fetus? would the intense effort on climbing reduce blood flow to the womb and cause a miscarriage?
He states he had no answers, so went to the library and found nothing there!
Only finding that that pregnancy was a time for moderation, and women should not introduce new activity or attempt anything physically challenging.
This was clearly showing the traditional approach - if the risk is unknown just avoid it.
He was shocked by the lack of information and so in 1976 he embarked on his quest to answer any related questions to exercising in pregnancy and the effects on both t he mother and baby.
Then book then details all studies, tests and experiments with results, looking at benefits of exercising on different body systems, how it benefits mother and baby, exercise effects on placentae growth, labour, breastfeeding etc.
They studied two groups of women, an EXERCISE GROUP and a CONTROL GROUP. To be part of the exercise group the women had to maintain her exercise regimen above 50% of her pre-pregnancy level, secondly her level of exercise had to remain above that required to maintain basic fitness (3 x per week, 20 minutes at a mod to hard level).
Some of the EXERCISE GROUP exercised vigorously to within a week of delivery. The CONTROL GROUP was made up of women that rarely engaged in sustained exercise but occasionally played tennis, went for a walk or did the gardening and so on.
Then he shows in graphs and charts the result of areas studied of these two groups, the results are really interesting (to me anyway!). They cover week of delivery, effects of regular exercise on fetal growth, birth stats of the bubs, placentae growth, maternal weight gain of each group, skinfolds to show fat deposition, effects on labour - including pain relief, intervention, C-sec outcome, length of labour, I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the idea.
I am very focused on another natural birth, free of drugs and intervention, this time it will be even more so than Maddi was, as I am hoping to be accepted to the Family Birth centre and change from the hospital.
From reading and researching, knowing my body and how I feel, exercising at a mod to hard level from the outset and hopefully until the end will/has given myself and bubs the best opportunity to have the pregnancy, labour and delivery that is best for both of us.
I am actually looking forward to labour!!!!!!! a bit stunned by that myself :)