Exercise is good for pregnant women! In addition to the regular benefits of exercise, pregnant women who exercise are likely to return to their pre-pregnancy shapes sooner, feel increased energy, and fend of stress more readily. According to James F. Clapp, M.D., author of Exercising Through Your Pregnancy women can exercise before, during, after their pregnancies. "Some women fear that exercise will increase the risk of miscarriage, malformations, pre-term labor, brain damage to the baby, or material injury, but this is not the case.” However, according to Dr. Clapp’s research, women who exercise feel better, perform better, and have babies that are be stronger physiologically and perhaps better developed neurologically.” Among the questions he answers: � How does exercise benefit the mother? � How does exercise affect growth of the fetus? � What is the effect of exercise on milk production? � Does exercise limit weight gain during pregnancy? � What is the right amount of exercise? � What are the dos and don’ts of exercising when pregnant? � When should exercise be avoided? � How late into pregnancy can you exercise? � What should be the exercise regimen after giving birth? Dr. Clapp provides guidelines for exercise plans that safely fulfill a mother’s needs during different phases of pregnancy. Common Myths About Exercising and Pregnancy 1. Pregnant women should keep their heart rates under 140 beats per minute. 2. Exercise during lactation makes the milk taste sour. 3. Women should avoid abdominal exercises in mid and late pregnancy. 4. Pregnant women should not lift weights. 5. The bouncing and jarring which occur during running and high-impact aerobics increase the risk for the baby getting tangled up in the umbilical cord. 6. Exercise causes premature labor. 7. Exercise will cause the fetus to detach from the wall of the womb. 8. Exercise right after a pregnancy will cause hernias and loss of vaginal and pelvic support.