Research shows that women who were active before pregnancy but then stopped when they became pregnant had longer labour times and more interventions during labour than those who kept exercising to the end of their pregnancy.
Exercise does not cause miscarriage, according to research. And women who exercise have been shown to have a reduced risk of premature birth.
Some women worry about their baby being shaken around while they exercise, but this isn’t the case. Your baby is safe and secure within your womb and may even find the movement relaxing.
Staying active can also help:
You can exercise during your pregnancy even if you have not been active before. Walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga or aquanatal classes are good ways to exercise during pregnancy.
Or you could try our quick and easy pregnancy workout.
Tips for exercising safely in pregnancy:
- If you have any pregnancy complications talk to your doctor before exercising.
- Don’t overheat – drink water regularly and don’t exercise in very hot temperatures (unless you’re used to it).
- If you go to an exercise class that’s not just for pregnant women, tell the teacher that you’re pregnant.
- Don’t exercise on your back after 16 weeks. Find out why exercising on your back is not recommended.
- Don’t scuba dive, exercise at high altitudes or do exercises where your bump might get hit (such as football, rugby or martial arts).
- Be careful with exercises where you could fall (such as outdoor cycling, horse riding or skiing).
- If you have any unusual pains, stop exercising immediately and contact your doctor or midwife.
- Pay attention to your heart rate during more intense exercise. If you’re at the gym, a trainer will be able to check this for you. Here’s what to aim for:
Heart rate (beats/minute)
|Less than 20 years
|Over 40 years