Feature Archive

Staying Fit While Pregnant

Be fit and pregnant!

WebMD Feature

Three days before Nancy Karabaic's baby was born -- when most moms-to-be are finding it tough enough just walking a couple of blocks -- Karabaic took a 3.5-mile run, because it felt good, she says.

"It was really important to me to stay fit and strong throughout my pregnancy," says the 39-year-old personal trainer from Wheaton, Md. "There's so little you can control when you're pregnant that at least you can feel like you're doing your best to stay healthy. I felt it would make my baby healthier, too."

So after talking over safe and reasonable guidelines with her midwife, Karabaic continued to swim, bike, run and lift weights -- albeit at a lesser intensity than she was used to -- throughout the nine months of her pregnancy.

To Karabaic, who delivered a healthy 7-pound, 6-ounce boy last January, the benefits were clear.

"My health stayed really good, I felt better emotionally, and I still felt like I looked good -- I had that healthy glow you get when you're exercising and you're pregnant." She's also convinced her labor, delivery and recovery were smoother because she was in such good shape.

The average pregnant woman won't be taking a three-mile jaunt, however, nor should she. Still, recent studies on pregnant women like Karabaic are shattering a lot of myths about the potential dangers of moderate-to-strenuous exercise during pregnancy.