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Exercise Important Before, During, After Pregnancy

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RALEIGH, N.C. — An older generation called pregnancy a "delicate condition." They discouraged too much activity. Now, more women realize before, during and after pregnancy is the time to get active.

Healthy Moms N.C.

Motherhood before pregnancy, during and after is the focus of Marybeth Winstead's fitness mission.

"We have a lot of moms that come even when they're trying to conceive, because prior to conceiving is actually the most important time to exercise," she said.

Katherine Hite believes in the value of attending the session. She is pregnant with her second child.

"I did before [my daughter] was born and I did all after she was born, all the classes I could take after and now I'm starting into the prenatal stuff again," she said.

Hite said fitness is not the only reason she's so dedicated.

"I love it. I have made some really good friends," Hite said. "I've met a lot of new people and gotten to introduce her to some new children too, because we don't do daycare or anything."

"It's not just the exercise as it is the emotional, psychological, just being around other women going through the same experience," Winstead said.

Winstead, a certified perinatal fitness instructor, said she is careful not to push moms, especially the pregnant ones, beyond their comfort zone.

"Especially in the first trimester, if Mom's tired, we tell our moms, 'Rest. Listen to your bodies,'" she said.

Winstead said the end result is often easier labors, quicker postpartum recovery and a more fit body.

The Healthy Moms program also offers other fitness classes like yoga and water exercise.


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