Although women are often advised to exercise during pregnancy and after birth, there is little information available about the tremendous benefits of physical activity for both mother and baby, or what kinds of exercise are safe and appropriate. In Why Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Matter, Rehana Jawadwala, a sports physiologist and perinatal yoga teacher, looks at the evidence for supporting physical activity in mothers, as well as how women’s physiology changes during pregnancy and after they give birth, answering in detail the questions that mothers and those supporting them may have.
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Essential Reading to Understand the Exercise is Essential at This Time
This paradigm-shifting book is a must read for expectant and post natal mothers, healthcare providers and those interested in narratives around women's bodies. Rehana, an expert in exercise physiology and nutrition, debunks the patriarchal myths around the fragility of women's bodies and pregnancy being a 'precarious' state. Referencing emerging and established studies she demonstrates that, not only is exercise during and after pregnancy acceptable, it is essential for healthy outcomes for mother and baby physically, mentally and emotionally. This evidence-based and beautifully written book explores both theory and practice, going into depth around each form of exercise, including recommendations, it also touches on nutrition and exercise to support labour itself. I would thoroughly recommend this as a fascinating and practical read and sincerely hope that the core concept becomes the new norm - women no longer have to ask for permission to exercise during and after pregnancy, they can feel assured that it is the best thing for themselves and their child.