How Should You Exercise During Pregnancy?

Staying active helps you have a more enjoyable pregnancy, control weight gain, and gets you ready for labor. Active women are better able to participate in their baby's birth. All women can benefit from regular activity, 3 or more times a week… even if it's not called "exercise!"

Activities considered safe during pregnancy:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Kegel & pelvic rocks (cat back stretch)
  • Swimming
  • Yoga (w/pregnancy modifications)

Activities you may continue if you are having no difficulty, and you are under 20 weeks pregnant:

  • Jogging
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics, Jazzercise, Zumba

Activities NOT recommended:

  • Competitive sports and races
  • Activities that cause sudden pressure changes (like hiking above 10,000 feet, scuba diving, or riding roller coasters)
  • Activities that may result in falls or rough contact (like soccer, skating, or downhill skiing)
  • Any exercise or activity that requires you to be flat on your back after 20 weeks.

It is wise to check your heart rate during activity: over 140 beats per minute means you need to slow down or stop.

And remember…

  • Drink water before, during, and after exercising.
  • Avoid becoming overheated (exercise early morning or late afternoon)

Call your midwife or doctor if:

  • You have fluid or blood coming from your vagina
  • You feel your heart racing or feel short of breath when resting
  • You have rhythmic back pain, stomach pains, uterine contractions, or cramping
  • You faint

Most women can exercise regularly without endangering themselves or their babies, so choose the activity which best fits you!