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"Pregnant women who stay in shape tend to have shorter labors," says Tekoa King, a certified nurse-midwife and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at San Francisco. "Fitness improves endurance, and if you're better able to tolerate labor, you're less likely to end up needing medical intervention." Walk, swim, or take a prenatal-exercise class during pregnancy (after getting an okay from your doctor or midwife).
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