Exercise has numerous health benefits; but seen skeptically when comes to mothers or would be mothers. Many mothers develop pre-eclampsia and eclampsia during pregnancy; the former is characterized by;
Research using animal model suggests that exercise before and during early stages of pregnancy may protect a mother from pre-eclampsia.
According to the lead researcher Jeffrey Gilbert of the University of Oregon's Department of Human Physiology; "Exercise Training Before and During Pregnancy Improves Endothelial Function and Stimulates Cytoprotective and Antioxidant Pathways in the Pregnant Rat."
According to the findings; exercise stimulates production of two proteins in pregnant rats which are essential for maintaining the health of blood vessels. Those are;
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and a pregnancy specific version, the placental growth factor (PlGF); and
- Heat shock proteins (HSPs).
Let us not be afraid of exercise training before and during the early months of pregnancy.