The benefits of exercising during pregnancy

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are well documented. Numerous studies have proven it has a positive effect on both the expectant mum’s health and her baby’s health. That’s why we’re encouraging women to get Active for 2, whether that’s by going for a simple swim or a gentle jog.

Pregnancy exercise does much more than improve your well-being – it can support the development of your baby’s heart and brain too. If you’re struggling to find motivation, these facts about the benefits of pregnancy exercise may help get you started.


Why exercise in pregnancy?

The benefits of pregnancy exercise for mum

Pregnancy exercise can improve your experience of pregnancy in many ways. Studies show that exercising mothers:

  • Experience less lower back pain1, pregnancy constipation8 and tiredness9.
  • Are 30% less likely to develop gestational diabetes2.
  • Are less likely to need an unplanned caesarean3,4.
  • Experience fewer incidences5 and reduced severity6 of depression.
  • Gain less weight during pregnancy4.
  • Are less likely to develop urinary incontinence7.
  • Have reduced incidents of pregnancy constipation8.
  • Experience less tiredness in pregnancy9.
  • May have shorter labour1.

The benefits of pregnancy exercise for baby

The benefits for your baby could last them a lifetime. Babies born to mothers who exercise in pregnancy are more likely to:

  • Develop a healthier heart with a lower resting heart rate after birth11.
  • Be born at what is considered a ‘normal’ birth weight, rather than overweight12.
  • Be born with more mature brains and are quicker to develop neurologically13.
  • Experience a reduced risk of respiratory distress at birth (if born to high-risk mothers)14.

Less maternal stress could also reduce the impact on the development of their immune system 15.

Feeling motivated? Discover how to exercise safely during pregnancy and which exercises to avoid. Just be sure to speak to your doctor or midwife before you begin.

Your baby's future health begins here

At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; and that each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

mom and baby

Get in touch with our Careline experts

Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. Need instant assistance? Our WhatsApp Customer Support team is here to help on-the-go!

  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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
  5. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
  6. 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.
  7. 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..
  8. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521 
  9. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69. 
  10. Barakata et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial 2018, 224 33-40
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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. 
  15. Marques AH et al. Maternal stress, nutrition and physical activity: impact on immune function, CNS development and psychopathology. Brain Research. 2015;1617:28–46.

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