Is Exercise safe during pregnancy?

Jayde MacDonough
by Jayde MacDonough
Is Exercise safe during pregnancy?
We understand this is a common question. The simple answer – exercise is safe during pregnancy.
Looking after your health and the health of your baby is your top priority during pregnancy. We understand there can be an overwhelming amount of information and differing opinions on a range of pregnancy-related topics. The question of exercise safety during pregnancy is frequently asked.
The great news is, for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, exercise is safe and encouraged.
What are the benefits of exercise during pregnancy?
As the infographic below suggests, exercise can have great benefits for yourself and your baby throughout pregnancy, including maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and preventing lower back pain.
You can even improve your fitness during pregnancy 
Even if you have not regularly exercised leading up to your pregnancy, it’s not too late. You can start now and gradually improve your fitness and health throughout your pregnancy. 
What type of exercise is appropriate during pregnancy?
The type of exercise recommended is a combination of aerobic and strength based exercise at a moderate intensity. If you are not already active, this may involve some walking and light resistance exercises, or if you are training at an elite level, you may initially continue to train at the same intensity. 
The below infographic also highlights the different types of exercise that are appropriate based on your current fitness level.
[Find out more about what exercise is safe during and after pregnancy HERE]
Get someone to guide you
As you progress through the pregnancy trimesters, your body will go through significant changes and the most appropriate form of exercise during each stage will vary. 
For example after week 16 of your pregnancy it is no longer advised you lay flat on your back as this can compromise you and your baby’s blood supply. 
A specially trained physiotherapist will help adapt your exercise program for you. This may include propping you up on an angle (>30 degrees) or providing an alternative exercise to target the same area.
                                                      Figure 3. An example of how to modify an exercise during pregnancy.
There are some activities that are not advised during pregnancy which include:
•Contact sport after the first trimester (i.e. soccer or basketball)

•Scuba diving

•Downhill skiing

•Ice skating

•Horse riding

•Martial arts

CLINICAL EXERCISE & PILATES is a safe and effective way to exercise during pregnancy
Clinical Exercise classes incorporating Pilates, involve exercises chosen specifically for you and your body, which are based off an assessment performed by a Physiotherapist trained in Pregnancy Pilates. The Physiotherapist will assess your current health and fitness, determine your goals and design you a tailored program just for you.
You can learn more about the benefits of Clinical Exercise & Pilates during and after pregnancy in the second Blog in this series – Clinical Exercise & Pilates: Great during and after Pregnancy
Alternatively you can BOOK HERE or CALL US to make an appointment with our Pre- and Post-Natal Health Physio’s, Jayde or Vanessa