1.1 Background of the study.
During pregnancy the body experience
dramatic physiological and psychological changes which is natural and to
remain healthy, the pregnant woman must indulge in regular physical
activities call exercise.1 The professional health workers need to
carefully design physical exercise programme to enable the pregnant
woman remain healthy. In country like Brazil, her Ministry of Health
stipulates that in addition to consultation and prenatal care, breathing
and relaxation techniques should be taught for better control of labour
and general well-being (2). Different exercise programmes are available
for pregnant mothers; these exercises include aerobic exercises such as
dancing, walking and swimming. Another type is Kegel exercise; this
involves tightening of pelvic muscles to control urine flow (3).
Exercise has been known scientifically
and physically to promote blood circulation to the mother and the foetal
vital organs such as the brain, liver and heart etc; exercise also
improve pelvic bone and muscle tone thus enhancing normal safe delivery
of baby during labour (5). Exercise is an activity requiring physical
effort done to improve health, it is a physical or mental activity that
is done to stay healthy or become stronger. Exercise session in
antenatal clinic should be designed to stimulate interest in the
physical changes occurring to promote body awareness and to facilitate
physical and mental relaxation.
Heggard states that women who practiced
more than one type of sports or leisure time physical activity had 24%
of reduced risk of preterm delivery, which compared with women with no
sports activity (12). It must be noted that before asking a group to
perform antenatal exercise on the floor, the correct way of getting down
and up again must be demonstrated side-lying in the coma position with
pillows under arm and knee is usually comfortable position in pregnancy.
The pregnant mothers should get up from lying by bending the knees,
rolling on to one side then using the arms to push up into a sitting or
kneeling position to prevent strains on both the back and the abdominal
muscles. Muscles of good tone are more elastic and will regain their
former length more efficiently and more quickly after being stretched
than muscles of poor tone. Exercising the abdominal muscles antenatally
will ensure a speed to normal postnatally, effective pushing in labour,
and the lessening of back ache in pregnancy (13). Exercise during
pregnancy are of utmost concern for most medical care giver, educators,
the general public as well as pregnant mothers and their family (14).
Regular and moderate exercise in early pregnancies is healthy for the
mothers and their babies (7,15,16). Mother’s health physiotherapist is
the ideal choice to teach the physical skills required or parenthood.17
However in areas where there is no physiotherapist available, midwives
may find themselves responsible for physical preparation as well as
parent education in antenatal classes or as one-to-one basis (5).
1.2 Statement of the problem.
Prenatal exercise is of benefit to every
pregnant mother. Exercise can reduce the length of labour, shorten the
recovery time and even help with post-partum weight management (5). The
physiotherapists in the hospital always come to the clinic as early as
possible but they usually meet only few pregnant mothers because they
come late to the clinic for the exercise as they see little or no need
for prenatal exercise. The purpose of this study is to study how
pregnant mothers perceive usefulness of antenatal exercise as it is
being performed in the antenatal clinics. There is need to find a way to
change the perception of pregnant women about antenatal clinic through
training, seminars and health talks on important of exercises in
pregnancy and antenatal clinics.
1.3 Objective of the study.
The objective of the study is to
research the perception of exercise and recreation among pregnant women
attending antenatal clinic.
1.4 Research Questions.
What is the meaning of exercise and recreation?
What is the importance of exercise in pregnant women?
How can perception of pregnant women about exercise during pregnancy be positively improved?
1.5 Significance of the study.
Exercise during pregnancy has the following importance:
- Fast labour.
- Weight loss in obese pregnant women.
- Relief of fatigue, swelling and back pain.
Therefore, this study will help in
educating pregnant women on the importance of exercise during pregnancy,
which has great advantage on the their health.
1.6 Scope of the study.
The study focus on the Perception of exercise and recreation among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic.
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