New Survey Highlights the Importance of Health and Fitness During Preconception and Pregnancy
According to BabyCenter, the leading online resource for new and expectant parents, a majority of women increase their focus on health, fitness and nutrition once they become a mother, than before they planned to conceive and/or had a child. New research shows approximately 65 percent of women exercise more or try to exercise more since becoming mothers, and 82 percent reported eating healthier since becoming a mom.
"We found that becoming a mom is a catalyst for getting healthy. Women begin making diet and exercise changes during pregnancy and those changes stay with them long after the baby is born. In our survey, three out of four women say they change their eating habits during pregnancy and after their kids are born, and more than half say they exercise more since becoming moms," said Linda Murray, editor in chief, BabyCenter. "Motherhood is good for your health."
BabyCenter recently surveyed approximately 600 members looking for greater insight on the role of health and nutrition in women in the preconception and pregnancy stages. The research, conducted in partnership with Aveeno Baby, a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company brand and leader in Active Naturals technology, found of the 40 percent of members planning to begin or expand their family in 2007, there was an overall commitment to healthier lifestyles whether trying to conceive, while pregnant, or while caring for a baby or toddler.
Exercise and Fitness
More than 75 percent of the women in the survey reported that being physically fit is somewhat or very important. Most moms, 57 percent, exercise on a weekly basis, with the majority walking to stay in shape. Nearly a quarter of pregnant moms say they plan to take yoga.
"Walking is one of the best exercises for moms-to-be. It's safe throughout pregnancy and easy to start doing even if you've never exercised before. Regular strolls are also a great stress reliever," said Murray.
Since becoming pregnant, 14 percent of moms increased their amount of exercise, while 43 percent exercised less often. At least 55 percent of pregnant moms exercised on their own while their child was occupied or in the care of others, while 41 percent exercised with their child in or out of the home. Only eight percent belonged to parent/child interactive exercise groups.
"Aveeno Baby supports the active lifestyle of healthy moms," said Colleen Sellers, Product Director, Aveeno Brand. "From our own research, we know that our consumers are women who enjoy the outdoors and exercise like walking and yoga. So, we are pleased to learn BabyCenter moms are committed to raising healthy children and understand and embrace the very important role of fitness during pregnancy and while trying to conceive."
Nutrition and Diet
Just as important as fitness and exercise, the survey results illustrated the value placed on healthy eating habits and a proper diet. At least 66 percent of respondents feel they have moderately healthy eating habits, while 13 percent feel they have very healthy eating habits. More than half of moms feel their eating habits have changed slightly since becoming pregnant, while 27 percent feel they have changed significantly. Approximately 34 percent of respondents feel eating organic or natural food is important.
"Eating healthy during pregnancy is not only important for mom, but the future of her child's health" said Murray. "The days when pregnant women indulged their every craving and happily ate for two are over. Today, moms are embracing everything from natural ingredients in their favorite foods, to choosing organic foods for both themselves and their families."