Khloe Kardashian recently clapped back at internet trolls who said she shouldn't be working out while pregnant. "For the ones who think they are physicians all of a sudden," she tweeted, "my doctor and I communicate and my workouts are cleared and highly recommended". To get an expert opinion on exercising during pregnancy, we spoke to leading media medic Dr Dawn Harper...
Khloe Kardashian received criticism for exercising during pregnancy, what were your thoughts on this?
I'm thrilled to see celebrities like Khloe Kardashian exercising sensibly during pregnancy and hopefully inspiring more pregnant women to get active as it’s an activity which has many benefits for both mum and baby.
What are the benefits?
It's actually good for mother and baby. It is well recognised that women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to develop gestational diabetes and are less likely to be depressed. They are also less likely to gain too much excess weight and this results in a lower risk of caesarean section.
Babies born to mums who exercise are also more likely to be a healthy weight and one small study has shown a link between maternal exercise and neurological development in the baby. More work is being done in this field but it is likely that babies born to women who exercise may have improved neurological development.
What exercises do you recommend during pregnancy?
How much exercise you do during pregnancy will depend on how active you were before and you will have to modify your exercise at different stages of pregnancy. Walking, swimming, running and yoga or pilates are all good exercises during pregnancy and have many benefits for baby and mum.
Aptaclub has an ‘Active for 2’ hub full of information and resources to help you plan your exercise programme during pregnancy, with dedicated coaches who have developed bespoke pregnancy routines for you to follow in the comfort of your own home or at a fitness centre.
Should any exercises be avoided during pregnancy?
Anything that could result in injury to the abdomen should be avoided so some women will choose to avoid horse riding for example and I advise against any contact sports during pregnancy.
The Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant with her third child, should you change your exercise plan according to how many pregnancies you've had?
Once you’ve experienced the benefits of exercise during your first pregnancy you should feel more confident the second, third, fourth or even fifth time around! The Duchess of Cambridge is a great role model, she is currently in her third pregnancy and staying active. It's important to listen to your body during pregnancy and adapt your regime accordingly but staying active is good for both mum and her unborn baby.
To find out more about Aptaclub’s Active For 2 resource, visit aptaclub.co.uk/ActiveFor2 and remember to always consult your doctor before exercising during pregnancy.