All women, unless they have underlying medical issues (see below) should be physically active throughout pregnancy. This has been shown to result in better health outcomes for the mother, the unborn child and the newborn baby.
• A variety of aerobic and resistance training
• 30 minutes or more per session (aim for 150 mins per week)
• Try to exercise most days (at least 3 days a week minimum)
• Moderate intensity (eg brisk walking)
• Adding yoga or gentle stretching may be useful
• Pelvic floor exercises to help prevent bladder leakage
** only 15% women achieve the recommended guidelines – don’t be that person!**
Pregnant women who experience light-headedness, nausea or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back should modify their exercise position.
Who should be exercising in pregnancy?
All pregnant women! (as long as there are no underlying medical or pregnancy related conditions)
Physical activity in pregnancy reduces the risk of pregnancy complications, and enhances a pregnant woman’s physical and mental health.
What if I haven’t been doing any exercise?
For pregnant women not currently meeting these guidelines, a progressive adjustment towards them is recommended. Please seek help if you need guidance.
What if I am already doing more than this?
Previously active women may continue physical activity throughout pregnancy. Women may need to modify physical activity as pregnancy progresses. Seek help if you are unsure.
There are not yet studies available that have looked at either the safety or the additional benefits of exercising at levels significantly above the recommendations.
What if I have morning sickness or feel unwell?
There may be periods when following the guidelines is not possible due to fatigue and/or discomforts of pregnancy. Do what you can and to recommended exercise when you are able.
Women with the following conditions can continue with normal daily activities but should NOT exercise in pregnancy:
• Ruptured membranes
• Premature labour
• Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding
• Placenta praevia after 28 weeks’ gestation
• Incompetent cervix
• Intrauterine growth restriction
• High-order multiple pregnancy (eg, triplets)
• Uncontrolled type I diabetes
• Uncontrolled hypertension
• Uncontrolled thyroid disease
• Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder
Women with the following conditions should discuss participating in physical activity with their obstetric care provider before commencing exercise:
• Recurrent pregnancy loss
• Gestational hypertension
• A history of spontaneous preterm birth
• Mild/moderate cardiovascular or respiratory disease
• Symptomatic anaemia
• Eating disorder
• Twin pregnancy after the 28th week
• Other significant medical conditions
For information about our pelvic safe exercise classes click here
2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy
2015 Guidelines American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists