A new government-funded initiative in Scotland has been rolled out to provide pregnant women with specialist personal trainers, in an attempt to tackle the country’s soaring rates of maternal diabetes.
Around one in five pregnant women in Scotland is overweight or obese, putting these women at risk of a whole host of complications, including pregnancy-induced gestational diabetes. Diabetes increases a the risk of a number of other issues, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and having a baby born too large for its gestational age (don’t get us started on large babies getting stuck during delivery!)
The mums-to-be have been handed exercise DVDs, a strict nutritional plan and the help of a specialist personal trainer in order to help keep them fit and healthy both during, and after the birth.
More than 1,500 participants have taken part in the UK-wide Upbeat intervention plan which health professionals hope could change the way maternity care is provided in the Scotland. The aim is to reduce the number of women diagnosed with pregnancy-induced diabetes by a quarter and overweight newborn babies by 30 per cent through this complex intervention.
The report says: “Obesity reduces fertility, and in pregnancy is associated with a heightened risk of gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, and failure to progress in labour. Caesarean section rates are high, and infants of obese mothers are at greater risk of congenital malformation.”
Researchers say the study will contribute to guidelines on the management of obesity in pregnancy, and if successful, will be rapidly transferable to clinical practice.
Whilst many pregnant women do understand the benefits of exercise during and after pregnancy, it’s essential that their exercise programmes are carefully managed and monitored.
Any fitness professional working with pregnant women, or new Mums must have a specialist set of skills to ensure their clients’ comfort and safety. A body that’s been through a long and strenuous process such as pregnancy needs careful monitoring. And one carrying a precious cargo needs to be handled with care!
Our Ante and Post Natal Exercise Qualification covers a range of skills you’ll need to have under your belt if you plan to work with pregnant women. As an Ante and Post Natal Fitness Instructor, you’ll understand the anatomy of pregnancy, how the ante and post natal periods affect the body and how to structure exercise sessions for women both during and after pregnancy.
With pregnant women in Scotland now tackling the obesity problem head on, more and more qualified specialists will be required to help guide them in their quest for a healthy motherhood. If you’re ready to develop your skills, speak to the Focus team about our Ante and Post Natal, or Obesity & Diabetes Specialist courses.