Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Exercising can feel hard enough at the best of times, so it is no surprise that many women will stop their normal exercise routine, or put off starting one for fear of doing any harm to themselves or their baby. However, “women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in strength-conditioning exercises before, during and after pregnancy” (ACOG, December 2015).

There are many benefits to mother such as reducing risk of:

  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Pelvic girdle pain, low back pain and other musculoskeletal complications
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominus (DRAM)
  • Incontinence
  • Pre-term labour
  • Anxiety and depression
    (ACOG, 2015)

Exercise more generally helps with improving physical fitness; therefore postnatal recovery tends to be improved.

It is important to note that research tells us adverse outcomes for baby are NOT increased for mothers who exercise.

Of course, if you have any complications with your pregnancy, it is imperative that you check with your Obstetrician first before commencing any exercise program. If you do not normally exercise, it is suggested to commence any exercise program in your second trimester once your body has begun to adapt to the many changes occurring during pregnancy. If you were already used to exercising, it is usually safe for you to continue to do so during your first trimester if your symptoms allow you to.

So, I’ve convinced you to continue/start exercise through your pregnancy. What should you do?

Exercise that is considered safe during pregnancy includes things like walking, swimming, stationary cycling, modified yoga and Pilates, and strength training. If you would like some individualised advice about exercising during your pregnancy, please get in touch with the clinic. Our Group Rehabilitation program can also be modified to support you during your pregnancy journey.

ACOG – American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists