There are lots of ways you can be active during pregnancy, but the exercises listed below may not be safe now you’re pregnant.
Contact sports and pregnancy
Contact sports are activities such as football, rugby, hockey or martial arts. Because of the way they are played, there is a risk of your bump being hit and so it’s best not to do them at all while you’re pregnant.
If you’re part of a team though, you could still train with them – perhaps in the gym – as long as you don’t do anything where you could get hit.
Activities that have a risk of falling during pregnancy
Any exercise or activity where there is a risk of falling, such as skiing, climbing or horse riding, can be risky. This is because your growing bump alters your centre of gravity, which can make it harder to keep your balance.
If you cycle and you’re worried about falling, you could change to indoor cycling in a gym.
Exercising at high altitudes in pregnancy
You shouldn’t exercise at high altitudes (over 2,500 metres) unless you are used to it, as it reduces the oxygen supply to you and your baby.
If you have gone somewhere that is over 2,500 metres, you should wait at least four to five days for your body to adjust before you do any exercise.
Scuba diving when pregnant
Scuba diving is not safe during pregnancy.
Nitrogen gas bubbles can pass across the placenta and your unborn baby has no protection against decompression sickness.
Exercising on your back in pregnancy
After 16 weeks, exercising on your back can cause low blood pressure and dizziness for some women.
The weight of the baby could press on a major blood vessel and reduce the blood flow to your heart and therefore baby.
For this reason, we also recommend sleeping on your side in late pregnancy.
Exercise classes that aren’t made for pregnancy
For example, they should advise you to avoid some exercises or positions, such as lying on your back after 16 weeks.
If you took part in any of the exercises before you knew you were pregnant and you’re worried, speak to your midwife for some reassurance.