Last week we discussed New Year’s Resolutions and the Resolutions that Last a Life Time. Today we are going to dive just a little bit deeper into one of those resolutions, Exercise! It only seems appropriate since many of us have started a new exercise regimen and I want to help you keep your motivation.
As your Fetal Health Development Specialist I feel it most important that I talk to you today about how exercise benefits your developing baby. As you remember I gave you some examples last week but let’s get into this a little differently.
I find it so fun thinking that you are in a “Mommy and Me” training session. Yes, they are physically right there with you, but the key is they are actually getting conditioned and training to have a better chance of survival in the world outside of the womb.
But what does that mean?
- Their little heart is developing to handle delivery of blood throughout the body anytime the demand increases.
- The muscle tissue of the heart will become stronger because it is anticipating the need to have the strength to handle various demands to function optimally in the perceived world outside of the womb. When the heart is conditioned it does not have to work as hard to deliver blood throughout the body and therefore at rest the heart rate is lower. This is much like what happens to us when we get more conditioned right?!
- The arteries and veins are better equipped than it would be otherwise to deliver blood and therefore nutrients, hormones, oxygen to all the body’s systems, and get rid of cellular waste and return for a fresh supply of nutrients, hormones, and oxygen.
The heart is the hardest working organ in your body. It keeps you alive! Without it that is it! I would say your baby’s heart health, among other things of course, is definitely worth conditioning for the world they will be born into.
The benefits don’t just stop here! There are also benefits to improve the development of your baby’s respiratory system which includes; all air passageways so they can breathe, lungs, and respiratory muscles (diaphragm and intercostal muscles a.k.a. muscles of the rib cage).
But what does that mean?
- This may seem a little more confusing because the baby’s respiratory system is not actually carrying out its physiological function until birth. However, it is still developing according to the cellular messages, if you will, it gets from the mother.
- Example, when a pregnant mom is around high amounts of pollution released from vehicles there is an increased risk of the baby having asthma. Why? We will get more into that another day but basically the pollutants effect the development. Just as harmful things effect the development of your baby helpful things do too.
- Their lungs are developed to be able to take in more oxygen because it is preparing for the demands to deliver oxygen to the cells throughout the body and getting rid of the carbon dioxide so it does not accumulate to dangerous levels. Think of this way, as their heart is conditioning their lungs have to develop to work with the same demands.
- Example, when your heart rate goes up your breathing increases as well. The lungs are developing to handle the oxygen delivery to the heart when the heart rate increases and be able to deliver enough oxygen to the body when the heart rate is slower and at a resting rate.
- The respiratory muscles are also developing to assist in “pulling” air in and “pushing” air out when breathing and keeping up with the demands of the lungs.
The cardiovascular system and respiratory system are controlled by the Central Nervous system (Brain and Spinal Cord). So it is not surprise that the Central Nervous System shows positive effects as well.
During exercise the development of the Central Nervous System (Brain and Spinal Cord) is influenced very positively as well.
But what does that mean?
- While inside the womb your baby will develop 8,000 new brain cells every second and by the time they are born will have all the brain cells they will ever need! When you exercise their brain activity increases and therefore resulting in more communication between the brain cells, nerves, and nerve endings throughout the brain and body.
- Their Vagus nerve control boosts in its ability to perform. The Vagus nerve is responsible for many jobs such as our heart rate, sweating, smooth muscle contraction in the esophagus to continue to move food down into the stomach, muscle movements in the mouth (part of the respiratory system), speech (recurrent laryngeal nerve) which means better language skills, allowing the larynx to stay open for breathing (messages to the posterior cricoaryteniod muscle).
I find this all so fascinating and truly a life changer for your baby! This is why I want to give you as much information as I can so you have a deeper and richer understanding of how precious your baby’s time in the womb is.
You have 9 months to prepare their bodies for as many possible years as 110 after birth. That is not much time is it?!
Before you start to worry remember I am hear and will help you every step of the way.
This brings me to some exciting news! I will be starting a program in February and if you want to have first dibs on my new upcoming available slots make sure you get on my email list by first signing up for the FREE healthy pregnancy e-course.
If you found this information helpful or think it will help someone you love make sure and share it on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter.
Now next week we have a very special guest, my friend Beth Burns Founder/Creator of Beth Burns Fitness. Since I discussed exercise today I thought it would be great for you to have a new exercise to add to your routine. And guess what? It will include kettlebells! I am so excited for this because many women don’t always seem to know what to do with them and Beth is THE expert in kettlebell training.
In your Corner,
Erin YOUR Fetal Health Development Specialist