Contact sports in 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 by a ball or a person 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 put at risk of falling
Take care with any exercise or activity where there is a risk of falling, such as skiing, cycling or horse riding. Your growing bump alters your centre of gravity so you may find that it’s harder to keep your balance. There are ways to keep doing what you like and stay stable. If you cycle and you feel less stable than usual, for example, you could change to indoor cycling in a gym.
Exercising at high altitudes in pregnancy
Don’t exercise at high altitudes (over 2,500 metres) unless you are used to it. It reduces the oxygen supply to your baby. If you have travelled to a place 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 in pregnancy
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.
Don’t lie on your back after 16 weeks
After 16 weeks, exercising on your back can cause low blood pressure and dizziness in some women. The weight of the baby could press on a major blood vessel and reduce the blood flow to your heart.
Not in itself. In fact, women with uncomplicated pregnancies who exercise have been shown to have a reduced risk of premature birth.
No. Exercise has not been shown to cause miscarriage.
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 class as long as you tell your teacher about your pregnancy.
Yes, you can. 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.
Yes it is. In fact, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not to as it brings down the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
- 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
ℹLast reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.