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Experiences of physical activity during pregnancy in Danish nulliparous women with a physically active life before pregnancy. A qualitative study

Hegaard, Hanne Kristine LU ; Kjaergaard, Hanne; Damm, Peter P.; Petersson, Kerstin LU and Dykes, Anna-Karin LU (2010) In BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10.
Abstract
Background: National guidelines recommend that healthy pregnant women take 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. Most women reduce the level of physical activity during pregnancy but only a few studies of women's experiences of physical activity during pregnancy exist. The aim of the present study was to elucidate experiences and views of leisure time physical activity during pregnancy in nulliparous women who were physically active prior to their pregnancy. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted by means of personal interviews. Nineteen women, all with a moderate pre-pregnancy level of physical activity but with different levels of physical activity during pregnancy, participated in the study. Content analysis was applied.... (More)
Background: National guidelines recommend that healthy pregnant women take 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. Most women reduce the level of physical activity during pregnancy but only a few studies of women's experiences of physical activity during pregnancy exist. The aim of the present study was to elucidate experiences and views of leisure time physical activity during pregnancy in nulliparous women who were physically active prior to their pregnancy. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted by means of personal interviews. Nineteen women, all with a moderate pre-pregnancy level of physical activity but with different levels of physical activity during pregnancy, participated in the study. Content analysis was applied. Results: In the analyses of experiences and views of physical activities during pregnancy, four categories and nine sub-categories were developed: Physical activity as a lifestyle (Habit and Desire to continue), Body awareness (Pregnancy-related discomfort, Having a complicated pregnancy and A growing body), Carefulness (Feelings of worry and Balancing worry and sense of security) and Sense of benefit (Feelings of happiness and Physical well-being). Conclusion: As other studies have also shown, women find that the discomfort and complications associated with pregnancy, the growing body, and a sense of insecurity with physical activity are barriers to maintaining former levels of physical activity. This study adds a new perspective by describing women's perceptions of these barriers and of overcoming them - thus, when pregnant, the majority of the women do not cease to be physically active but continue to be so. Barriers are overcome by applying one's own experience, looking to role models, mirroring the activities of other pregnant women and following the advice of experts (midwives/physiotherapists). Women then continue to be physically active during pregnancy, most often to a lesser extent or in alternative activities, and derive considerable enjoyment and physical well-being from this. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
volume
10
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • wos:000296438800001
  • scopus:77953941541
ISSN
1471-2393
DOI
10.1186/1471-2393-10-33
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c6d369ad-ee99-469e-992e-8dbf884594f2 (old id 2213060)
date added to LUP
2011-12-01 08:36:10
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:42:31
@article{c6d369ad-ee99-469e-992e-8dbf884594f2,
  abstract     = {Background: National guidelines recommend that healthy pregnant women take 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. Most women reduce the level of physical activity during pregnancy but only a few studies of women's experiences of physical activity during pregnancy exist. The aim of the present study was to elucidate experiences and views of leisure time physical activity during pregnancy in nulliparous women who were physically active prior to their pregnancy. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted by means of personal interviews. Nineteen women, all with a moderate pre-pregnancy level of physical activity but with different levels of physical activity during pregnancy, participated in the study. Content analysis was applied. Results: In the analyses of experiences and views of physical activities during pregnancy, four categories and nine sub-categories were developed: Physical activity as a lifestyle (Habit and Desire to continue), Body awareness (Pregnancy-related discomfort, Having a complicated pregnancy and A growing body), Carefulness (Feelings of worry and Balancing worry and sense of security) and Sense of benefit (Feelings of happiness and Physical well-being). Conclusion: As other studies have also shown, women find that the discomfort and complications associated with pregnancy, the growing body, and a sense of insecurity with physical activity are barriers to maintaining former levels of physical activity. This study adds a new perspective by describing women's perceptions of these barriers and of overcoming them - thus, when pregnant, the majority of the women do not cease to be physically active but continue to be so. Barriers are overcome by applying one's own experience, looking to role models, mirroring the activities of other pregnant women and following the advice of experts (midwives/physiotherapists). Women then continue to be physically active during pregnancy, most often to a lesser extent or in alternative activities, and derive considerable enjoyment and physical well-being from this.},
  author       = {Hegaard, Hanne Kristine and Kjaergaard, Hanne and Damm, Peter P. and Petersson, Kerstin and Dykes, Anna-Karin},
  issn         = {1471-2393},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth},
  title        = {Experiences of physical activity during pregnancy in Danish nulliparous women with a physically active life before pregnancy. A qualitative study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-10-33},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2010},
}