Does exercise cause miscarriage?

No. Exercise has not been shown to cause miscarriage.

If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than to be sedentary (not active) – women who exercise have less risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.

One study also showed that women who were previously active and stopped exercising in their first trimester had longer labour times and more interventions during delivery than those who kept exercising to the end of their pregnancy.

If you are concerned about your baby being jolted around as you continue exercising as normal, don’t worry – this isn’t the case. Your baby is securely cocooned in your womb.

Staying active also:

  • Helps you sleep better
  • Reduces your likelihood of suffering from the common complaints of pregnancy, such as varicose veins, swollen feet and tiredness
  • Reduces your anxiety levels.

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.

If you have any medical complications 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.

Download and print your weekly exercise goal plan

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Sources

  1. 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
  2. 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 
  3. 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 
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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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