Khloe Kardashian is in the news for being body shamed again. After months of rumors and speculations, she has finally confirmed her pregnancy. This joyful news was public for about a hot second before body shamers rushed in to climb all over her for supposedly scandalous and dangerous behavior for a pregnant woman. Not because she’s drinking, smoking or being reckless. Nope, because she’s daring to exercise.
While the Kardashian family seems to attract a lot of both positive and negative attention for their bodies, Khloe’s had a particularly rough time in the media with body critics. When she was younger and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” was a much newer show, Khloe was cruelly called the fat sister. Thursday she said even her family pressured her to lose weight because it was “hurting the family brand.”
When her life got difficult, with a marriage that was publicly falling apart, Khloe threw herself into fitness and nutrition, and the critics still kept wagging their tongues. She was no longer too fat, but now she was too thin, or too vain, or too fit.
Now she’s apparently actively risking the health and wellness of her baby in order to stay fit during her pregnancy, and moms to be everywhere need to sit back and start pounding cake just to be on the safe side. If you thought that birth was hard work and being in good physical condition would help, and all those things that your obstetrician said about being active during pregnancy were actually important pieces of advice to follow, well, the internet is here to correct that.
The Old Wives and their tales haven’t missed the transition to social media, and they’re every bit as unhelpful as they were in the past. But in reality, while every pregnancy and every doctor’s advice will be different, there are actually some well-established guidelines women can use to identify a safe and effective exercise routine for their life.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), has a common sense committee opinion on exercise plans. Their plan lays out the benefits of exercise, from cardiovascular health, enhanced psychological wellbeing to lower risks of gestational diabetes for obese mothers.
Can All Mothers Exercise? Yes
The ACOG suggests active women stay active, and that women who weren’t active before pregnancy work up to twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise daily. Pregnant women should regularly check in with their doctors to make sure things are going well, and that they haven’t developed a contraindication to exercise.
Why to Be Active
Researchers have discovered that aerobic exercise during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters, has cardiovascular benefits not just for mothers, but also for their babies. The developing babies have lower and more variable heart rates, with more blood being pumped per beat. And regular physical activity has been linked in studies to a shorter labor. Mothers to be, this is nothing to sneer at! The University of Montreal in Canada studied exercise and brain development and found that moderate exercise, including walking, could help boost and mature a baby’s brain. All of this is encouraging news for mothers struggling to find the motivation to go to the gym — it’s actually making a real difference for your baby, too. It’s worth it.
Exercises to Try
With the assumption that you’ve cleared it with your doctor and you’re ready to start getting active, here are some suggestions to try.
Walking is the most basic, and for most people requires no special equipment. Dress to suit the weather, call a friend to go with you, and get your steps in. It’s good practice for all the soothing you’ll be doing with that baby after they’re born when they need to be rocked to sleep.
Some communities have special pregnancy specific classes for pregnant and postpartum women, avoiding moves that aren’t comfortable or recommended during pregnancy. If your community doesn’t offer this, try an online pregnancy class instead, or an in person class with a teacher who will work with you to make sure that you’re comfortable.
This is where KoKo is getting her unnecessary criticism. All of these activities can be safe for women in pregnancy, particularly in women who were fit and active before they were pregnant like Kardashian was.
If you were a fitness enthusiast before you got pregnant, like Khloe Kardashian, don’t despair and assume you need to languish in inactivity and excess for the next nine months. There’s no reason that you can’t continue to be active. Exercise has real benefits for both mother and baby, and unless a problem arises there’s no good reason to stop working out.