Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy. Regular physical activity helps with weight management, reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in obese women, and enhances psychological well-being. An exercise program that leads to an eventual goal of moderate-intensity exercise for at least 20–30 minutes per day on most or all days of the week should be developed and adjusted as medically indicated.
Here at Milltown Physiotherapy we offer ante and post natal Pilates classes for women from 16 weeks pregnant and from 6-8 weeks post natal. Women can enjoy Pilates in comfort and safety, knowing they are exercising correctly under the care of a Chartered Physiotherapist with experience in Women’s Health. Click here for further information on our classes
- Swimming, walking, modified Yoga, stationary bike and low impact aerobics are all safe exercises in pregnancy. Some Yoga positions should be avoided later in pregnancy. Avoid Hot Yoga.
- If you were lifting weights before you got pregnant, keep going as long as you go easy. Avoid heavy weights or routines where you have to lie flat on your back.
- High intensity sports: If you regularly run or play tennis, you don’t need to stop. As you get closer to your due date, run on flat, groomed surfaces to reduce impact and avoid falls.
- Risky Sports are the contact sports such as basketball, hockey, and soccer and activities that increase your risk of falling, such as off road cycling, roller-skating, downhill skiing, and horseback riding.
In consultation with your doctor running, jogging, racquet sports and strength training may be safe for pregnant women who participated in these activities regularly before pregnancy (ACOG 2015).
Engage your core i.e. your abdominals pelvic floor with impact or you might leak, get pelvic girdle pain or low back pain. If you are not sure how to do this find a Chartered Physiotherapist in your area.
When to slow down: As long as you can talk comfortably and aren’t short of breath while exercising, you’re moving at a good pace. Don’t exert yourself to the point of heavy sweating. Drink plenty of fluids. If you have any of the following symptoms, stop exercising and call your doctor right away:
- Chest pain
- Calf pain or swelling
- Less movement by the baby
- Muscle weakness
- Fluid leaking from the vagina
- Vaginal bleeding
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Womens’s Health Care Physicians Number 650 • December 2015