In fact, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not. For example, women who stay active during pregnancy have a lower risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
“I wanted to wrap myself in cotton wool after my miscarriage and I found it difficult when other mums talked about all the sport they still did - in the first trimester I wanted to protect my baby as best as I could. But perhaps if I’d been encouraged to go for walks and swims that would have helped my anxiety levels?” Clio
If you are concerned about your baby being shaken around as you exercise, don’t worry – this isn’t the case. Your baby is secure inside your womb. However, if it helps with your anxiety levels, go for low impact exercises like walking and gentle swims.
The benefits of an active pregnancy
Exercising during pregnancy can:
- help you sleep better
- reduce your likelihood of suffering from some common pregnancy complaints, such as varicose veins, swollen feet and tiredness
- reduce your anxiety and boost your mood.
Read more about the benefits of being active.
Pregnancy complications and exercise
If you have any medical concerns in pregnancy, talk to your doctor or midwife before you exercise. They can advise you on the levels of activity that are safe for you and your baby.
Becoming more active
You can exercise during your pregnancy even if you have not been active before. Good exercises for pregnancy include:
- pregnancy yoga
- aquanatal classes
Find more pregnancy-friendly exercises.
Not in itself. In fact, women with uncomplicated pregnancies who exercise have been shown to have a reduced risk of premature birth.
Most types of exercise are fine even if you are overweight. Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
It should be fine to continue with your usual yoga class during pregnancy, as long as you tell your yoga teacher and they are qualified to instruct pregnant women.
Yes. Yoga is a great exercise to do during pregnancy as it doesn’t put too much strain on your joints. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and to help women stay calm in pregnancy and labour.
As you’re used to running, it’s fine to carry on during your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable.
As long as you feel comfortable and you have no medical issues in pregnancy, you can carry on exercising right up until your baby is born.
- Juhl M, Andersen PK, Olsen J, Madsen M, Jørgensen T, Nøhr EA, Andersen AM (2008). ‘Physical exercise during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort’, American Journal of Epidemiology, 167 (7): 859–66. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18303008
- RCOG (2006). Exercise in Pregnancy: Statement No. 4, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/statements/statement-no-4.pdf
- Tinloy J, Chuang CH, Zhu J, Pauli J, Kraschnewski JL, Kjerulff KH (2014) ‘Exercise during pregnancy and risk of late preterm birth, cesarean delivery, and hospitalizations’, Women’s Health Issues, 24 (1): e99–e104: doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.11.003: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24439953
ℹLast reviewed on July 31st, 2018. Next review date July 31st, 2021.