Exercising safely during pregnancy
Are you keeping active? Read about how to start or continue exercising safely now that you're pregnant, and why it's so beneficial.
Reduced incidence of lower back pain 1
A 30% reduction in the risk of gestation diabetes 2
Reduced likelihood of unplanned caesarean 3,4
Lower incidence 5 and reduced severity 6 of depression
Less pregnancy weight gain 4
Lower risk of urinary incontinence 7
Reduce incidents of pregnancy constipation 8
Less pregnancy tiredness 5
A healthier heart 9
Normal birth weight 10
Quicker to develop neurologically 11
Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome (for infants of high-risk women) 12
The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are becoming increasingly evident. Pregnancy exercise can improve an expectant mum’s experience of pregnancy in many ways. Studies show that exercising mothers:
The benefits for your baby could last them a lifetime. Babies born to mothers who exercise in pregnancy are more likely to:
If you’re feeling motivated to get Active for 2, read more about how to exercise safely during pregnancy and which exercises to avoid. Just be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife before you begin.
“We’re now seeing evidence that exercising in pregnancy may be one of the best things you can do for your baby’s future health. Pregnancy exercise can have a huge impact on your personal experience of pregnancy, too. Provided you follow the expert guidelines, it’s safe for most women to continue and even start exercising in pregnancy. Just make sure you check with your midwife or doctor first, in case there are any specific medical reasons why you should avoid being physically active in pregnancy.”
1. Pennick V, Liddle SD. Interventions for preventing and treating pelvic and back pain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013(CD0011):1-100.
2. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521.
3. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
4. Sanabria‐Martínez G et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta‐analysis. BJOG 2015;122(9):1167-74.
5. Price BB et al. Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(12):2263-9.
6. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
7. Robledo-Colonia AF et al. Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial. J Physiother 2012;58(1):9-15.
8. Perales M et al. Benefits of aerobic or resistance training during pregnancy on maternal health and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review. Early Hum Dev 2016;94:43-8.
9. May LE et al. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy influences fetal cardiac autonomic control of heart rate and heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev 2010;86(4):213-7.
10. Bisson M et al. Physical activity volumes during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies assessing the association with infant's birth weight. AJP Reports 2016;6(02):e170-e97.
11. Labonte-Lemoyne E et al. Exercise during pregnancy enhances cerebral maturation in the newborn: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2016:1-8.
12. Muktabhant B et al. Diet or exercise, or both, for preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Jun 15;(6):CD007145.
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