If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not. For example, women who exercise have less risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, which are both risk factors for premature labour.
One study showed that women who had been active before pregnancy but stopped in their first trimester had longer labour times. They were also more likely to have medical assistance during labour than those who exercised throughout their pregnancy.
Staying active can also:
- help you sleep better
- reduce your chances of suffering from some common pregnancy symptoms, such as varicose veins, swollen feet and fatigue
- improve your mood and reduce your anxiety.
If you have a high risk of premature birth
Although exercise alone does not cause premature birth, it is possible that it could complicate an existing problem, such as a weak cervix.
Listen to your body and if something does not feel right, see to your midwife or GP.
No. Exercise has not been shown to cause miscarriage. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not.
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.