Exercise is an important aspect of staying fit and healthy both physically and mentally, and while a lot of women participate in fitness classes and work out on their own on a regular basis, there seems to be a sense of nervousness that pregnant women hold inside, keeping them from exercising for fear of hurting their baby. But guess what, ladies? This is an old wives tale, a myth…fake news. Working out during pregnancy is actually healthy for both you and your baby, as long as you are following your health care provider’s orders and paying close attention to what kinds of exercising you are performing, and how you feel while performing them.

Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Plantation, gives the go-ahead to her patients who want to continue exercising during their pregnancy. Exercise is not only for your own health, but also for the baby’s health and your own peace of mind.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology offers its best women’s health tips on exercising during pregnancy. First and foremost, if you are worried about exercising causing any harm to you or your baby, you can rest easy. Physical activity does not increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or even early delivery. You just may have to adjust your routine to make sure it includes pregnancy-friendly exercises. For example, types of exercise to avoid include hot yoga or pilates, which could cause you to become overheated, any type of contact sport where there is a chance of being hit in the abdomen, and activities such as skiing, surfing, gymnastics, horseback riding and off-road cycling that could result in a bad fall. However, it’s perfectly fine to engage in brisk walking, swimming and water aerobics, stationary bicycling, and modified yoga and pilates. If you are an experienced runner, talk to your healthcare provider about how to safely continue throughout your pregnancy.

As with anyone, pregnant or not, participating in physical fitness, there are always precautions to take. It is especially important as a pregnant woman, however, to drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Having the right support is also crucial — and we don’t mean from your friends and family, we mean from your sports bra. You can even wear a belly support belt to reduce discomfort while walking and running. Avoid exercises that put you on your back or involve standing motionless as much as you can, as both of these positions can decrease the amount of blood flow to your heart, resulting in decreased blood pressure for a short time.

Women who continue to exercise regularly during their term can experience a multitude of benefits, including reduced back pain, decreased constipation, decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and c-section delivery, improved overall general fitness, and strengthening of the heart and blood vessels. It also promotes healthy weight gain during pregnancy, and is a big aid in weight loss after you’ve given birth.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding area, Dr. Ghea advises to pay close attention to your body and how you are feeling while exercising. If you start to feel dizzy or faint, show signs of shortness of breath before even starting exercise, or experience chest pain, headaches, muscle weakness, and calf pain or swelling, it’s time to take a break. More severe signs include bleeding or leaking fluid from the vagina or having regular and painful contractions of the uterus.

Let Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea, take the fear out of exercising during pregnancy. She is available to answer your questions and provide details and directions for a safe work out regimen. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn, please call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, or simply request online.

In today’s world, it’s no surprise to see a woman having a child later in life. What with so many women starting their own businesses, traveling the world, or simply not settling at a young age, they are having babies older and older. While this would be unheard of years ago, even deemed taboo and scared of by most, age should not frighten today’s woman; not with all of the technology advancements and women’s health tips that have been helping women to safely and successfully have children at an older age. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ensures us that many women are still able to have healthy pregnancies and babies even after the age of 35; however it important to see a healthcare professional beforehand and receive good prenatal care during pregnancy as well. As a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician, Dr. Ghea wants patients to understand that it is key to follow all of your doctor’s care instructions and recommended guidelines to ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy, and a safe and healthy baby.

Those trying to conceive at an older age should be well aware and knowledgeable about any risks that could be involved. As women’s bodies age, things shift and change and affect fertility. This is because women begin their lives with a fixed number of eggs in their ovaries, which decrease with age, and those that are left run the risk of having abnormal chromosomes. According to the ACOG, one in 10 women, age 40, will get pregnant per menstrual cycle.

Local South Florida mom blogger, Rachel Sobel of Whine and Cheez(Its) experienced her second pregnancy just shy of her 40th birthday. “There I was, feeling downright geriatric as I was placed in the “advanced maternal age” bracket,” she describes it. “Pregnancy later in life comes with its fair share of challenges and fears since you know you are at greater risk, statistically. For me however, with age came a heightened level of insight and awareness into everything happening to my body. Good, bad or just gas.”

Everyone’s pregnancy experience is different — some handle it with ease, some with humor (like Rachel), and some with a constant need for advice. If the latter sounds like you, Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, shares her insight on what to expect when having a baby after age 35.

Although it is becoming more and more normal for women to get pregnant after 35, this doesn’t take away from the fact that older women are more likely than younger women to have a baby with a birth defect, according to March of Dimes. It is a good idea to have some prenatal tests done, such as cell-free fetal DNA screening or maternal blood screening, to see if your baby is at risk for certain birth defects. If a screening test comes back positive for a potential defect, the next step is to take diagnostic test, which will help show whether the baby does or doesn’t have a birth defect.

The mother-to-be’s own health could be affected as well. Complications that can occur during pregnancy include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, and preeclampsia, which can happen after 20th week of pregnancy or right after, and is when a pregnant women has high blood pressure and shows signs that some of her organs may not be working properly, In addition, the Mayo Clinic notes that there is a higher chance of having twins or triplets due to the hormonal changes that could cause the release of multiple eggs at the same time, as well as a risk of having a low birth weight baby and a premature birth, needing a C-section due to complications, and unfortunately, experiencing a pregnancy loss. While this is the last thing you want to think about, it’s important to know that having a child after the age of 35 does come with this risk, and it’s better to accept and understand it that than not.

But don’t fret! There are many ways to increase your chances of having a healthy baby, mainly by living a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of both yourself and the baby. It all starts even before you get pregnant. When you know pregnancy is in the near future, make a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss lifestyle changes that will help to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. During pregnancy, be sure to seek regular prenatal care to monitor your and the baby’s health and eat a healthy diet filled with the essential nutrients needed such as folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about the amount of weight you should be gaining to support your baby’s health, and be sure to stay active. With your healthcare provider’s permission, engaging in regular physical activity can help ease or prevent discomfort, boost energy levels and also helps prepare for labor as it increases stamina and strength.

If you are actively trying to get pregnant, or already are, and looking for an obgyn in Plantation, Dr. Ghea can be seen at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office offering total care for women. You can make an appointment by calling 954-473-2011 or by submitting a request online.