Exercise has a myriad of physical benefits for both maternal and infant health, and may even shorten labour
In a randomised controlled trial, 166 pregnant women were assigned to either an exercise group (EG) or control group (CG). Women in the EG participated in 55 to 60 minute sessions, 3 days per week comprising aerobic dance and specific exercises targeting the legs, buttocks, abdomen and pelvic floor muscles. The results demonstrated physical exercise during pregnancy was associated with a significantly shorter first stage of labour. Recommending strategies for regular exercise throughout pregnancy may prove beneficial for mothers-to-be; after all, who wouldn’t prefer a shorter labour?
Recommending a healthy wholefood diet (such as the Mediterranean diet) in pregnancy improves metabolic health outcomes in childhood
In a 2017 study, two cohorts of pregnant women and their children (comprising 1,566 mother-child pairs) were studied to establish a link between the consumption of a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and childhood metabolic health. The study demonstrated lower childhood adiposity, blood pressure and leptin levels in the 4 to 7 year olds. Prescribing a Mediterranean diet during preconception and pregnancy not only supports the health of mothers’, but may also promote long-term cardio-metabolic health in their offspring.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation in pregnancy may extend beyond reducing stress in the mother
To assess the effects of a mother’s meditation on their infant’s social-emotional development, 156 pregnant women and 109 infants were studied. Children of mothers who practiced mindfulness meditation displayed more positive social-emotional behaviours and greater adaptive functioning and social competencies, compared to those with less mindful mothers. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy not only help mums feel calmer and cope better, but may also promote greater social-emotional development in their children
Naturopath & Fertility Specialist at NatMed Natural Medicine Clinic
is a women’s health specialist and is the fertility consultant at NatMed. Having experienced intensive preconception care in order to facilitate a healthy pregnancy at 34 years of age, Jacky understands the trials and tribulations of fertility medicine. She now uses her personal and professional experience to support couples endeavouring to conceive. Jacky is a highly talented practitioner who won two of the four prizes in her graduation year including Most Outstanding Graduate in Clinical Practice and Most Outstanding Performance in the Study of Western Herbal Medicine. Jacky is a dedicated professional who has worked in natural medicine since 2001. She also presents at NatMed's Rawlicious Seminars.