Exercising during pregnancy can be safe and improve health outcomes.

Some benefits of regular exercise include:

  • Reduced back pain
  • Relieved constipation
  • Decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and C-section delivery
  • Healthy weight gain
  • Strengthened heart and blood vessels
  • Improved weight loss after your baby is born
It is important to discuss your exercise plan with your health care provider as not all women can partake in exercise during pregnancy, such as women with the following health conditions:
  • Preterm labor
  • Placenta previa
  • Preeclampsia
  • Severe anemia
  • Being pregnant with twins or triplets
  • Certain types of heart and lung diseases

The goal should be to exercise 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week. If that is unattainable at first, start out slow and gradually increase the time. Start with 5 minutes of exercise per day and add 5 minutes each week until you can sustain activity for 30 minutes per day. Note that your exercise tolerance may be reduced, such that it may take less exercise to feel challenged. You may also notice changes in your joints, balance, and breathing.

Here are a few tips for exercising during pregnancy:

  • Stay well hydrated. Dehydration can lead to painful uterine contractions and preterm delivery.
  • Listen to your body and adjust your routine as needed.
  • Try any of the following activities: swimming, brisk walking, stationary biking, modified yoga, or Pilates.
  • Avoid exercise that might result in trauma, as abdominal trauma can lead to placental abruption.
  • Avoid any of the following activities: skiing, rock climbing, volleyball, biking in heavy traffic, contact sports, surfing, gymnastics, horseback riding, hot yoga.
  • Avoid lying on your back as this can compress parts of your body that can be harmful to you and your baby.
It is important to stop exercising and speak with your provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Shortness of breath before starting an exercise
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Regular, painful contractions of the uterus

All information is provided by:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists