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Keep Cardio Simple During Pregnancy

December 8, 2008, 5:00 PM by Kelli Grant

Keep Cardio Simple During Pregnancy
A little exercise during pregnancy can shorten labor, decrease the need for medications during labor, plus lower the rate of complications overall - but doctors warn, don't overdo it. 

17 weeks pregnant with her third baby, Nano Sato knows the worries of gaining too much weight.
Sato says, "My first pregnancy I was exercising pretty much every day." 

But this time around, she's put the breaks on too much cardio workout time.
"Chasing two kids is my exercise." 

A new study says Sato is on the right track. Researchers found that excessive exercise could put mom and baby at serious risk. More than an hour a day increased the chance of developing life threatening pre-eclampsia....a condition which dangerously raises mom's blood pressure and then decreases the blood supply to the baby. 

Dr. Jacques Moritz, Director of Gynecology at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital says,
”Pre-eclampsia is the major problem that we have in obstetrics. It’s very dangerous, people can die from pre-eclampsia." 

Women who exercise more than seven hours a week were 78% more likely to get pre-eclampsia. 

Less strenuous activities like walking and swimming are recommended.
Dr. Moritz says, “One of the best exercises in pregnancy is swimming because there's no pressure on your joints. It's enough exercise and usually you don't get short of breath.” 

Pre-eclampsia effects one in every 14 pregnancies. Doctors say good prenatal care, which regularly monitors the mother's blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat is critical. 

On average, about 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise is recommended for pregnant women. But doctors say if you can't carry on a conversation while exercising, you are overdoing it.

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