There are so many decisions and preparations to make when you are getting ready to start a family. Maybe you are the type to uber-plan and make any big moves, check out schools, and paint rooms even before the pee stick comes out positive. Or, you might be the Let’s Keep Our Cool type and hold off on baby purchases until you can’t see your feet. Also, there’s pre-pre-natal nutrition to think about, like folic acid (which you have to take months before you even do the deed), getting your Omega-3s, etc.
It is believed that our postnatal health and cardiovascular health may be positively affected by the amount of fetal stem cells during gestation. A 2016 study (how did they do it so fast?) wanted to find out if pre-pregnancy and prenatal fitness would have an effect on stem cell counts and therefore affect the health of the developing fetus. By sampling the umbilical cord blood of 373 individuals and surveying them on their fitness habits before becoming pregnant, the researchers discovered a link between pre-pregnancy fitness levels and stem cell counts. (The study is still ongoing and they have yet to report on a direct link between prenatal fitness and stem cell counts.)
Stem cells can be collected and stored and used later in life to regenerate bone tissue, stimulate blood cell growth, and can save lives, but I was unaware of their effect on our everyday lives and health. In my opinion, the fact that the study showed positive association between rigorous pre-pregnancy exercise and elevated stem cell counts in the fetus is just more proof that being fit is better for you AND any babies you might have in the future. The study also mentioned that benefits were observed not only for first pregnancies but subsequent ones as well.
Here are the conclusions verbatim: “Vigorous exercise before pregnancy increases the number of endothelial progenitor cells in umbilical cord blood and thus could potentially enhance endothelial function and improve cardiovascular fitness in the offspring. Findings of lower levels of putative breast stem cell subpopulations could have implications on exercise and breast cancer prevention.”
And now for the shameless plug… From my past as massage therapist and currently as a personal trainer, I have years of experience working with women who are either pregnant, between pregnancies, or wanting to conceive. I can create a stand-alone program for you that you can do on your own, or I can train you one-on-one and give you structure and consistent motivation. If you want to give your baby the best, it starts with YOU. Please contact me with any questions.
Don't be like these girls!!!