Congratulations!  You’re pregnant and about to embark on an exciting journey! 

You are no doubt wondering, is it safe for me to exercise during my pregnancy?  

You may have always exercised and now want to know if it’s okay to continue to do so while you are pregnant…  The answer is yes! 

Or, perhaps you haven’t done much exercise in the past but are keen to keep your body strong and flexible during your pregnancy to prepare you for the arrival of your baby…  The answer is also yes! 

Of course, it is never just a simple ‘yes’!

 

Why Exercise During Pregnancy?

Keeping strong throughout your pregnancy can help to reduce the toll of the pregnancy on your body (especially pelvic, hip or back pain), as well as helping you to bounce back faster after giving birth.

As your baby grows, exercises will must be altered to suit your gestation and to keep you and your baby safe. 

Exercise During Pregnancy: Recommendations

It is recommended that during pregnancy, exercise is of low impact, at a low-moderate intensity and appropriate to your level of fitness. 

There isn’t a ‘one fits all’ approach when it comes to exercising during pregnancy. 

Exercise such as Pilates, yoga, walking or aqua-aerobics are some examples of low impact and low intensity exercise.

Exercise such as Pilates, yoga, walking or aqua-aerobics are some examples of low impact and low intensity exercise.

The current guidelines state that it is okay to continue with the exercise that you were doing before falling pregnant rather than taking up something that is completely different or new.

 

Exercise During Pregnancy: Precautions

The Talk Test

The talk test is one way that you can monitor if your pregnancy exercise is at an appropriate low-moderate intensity.

Are you able to hold a normal conversation while you are performing your exercise? 

If yes, then you can continue. 

If you are only able to say a few words and are out of breath, you need to stop and catch your breath and resume at a reduced intensity. 

Lying on Your Back 

From 18 weeks onwards, it is advised that you do not do exercise/s that require you to lie on your back. 

This is because the weight of your growing baby can restrict blood flow to a major blood vessel to you and your baby. 

It can also make you feel quite faint and light-headed. 

Exercises that can be done on hands and knees, lying on your side, sitting, kneeling or standing are safe. 

Over-Stretching

Expect your exercise tolerance and type of exercise to change as your pregnancy progresses. 

As your body and hormones change, so will your pregnancy exercises. 

During your second trimester, the hormone relaxin, which is responsible for making your ligaments looser, peaks, and so it is important to not over stretch during this time. 

Balance

When your third trimester arrives, and your baby and belly has grown significantly, staying balanced will become more difficult as your centre of gravity is altered. 

It is important during this time that care is taken when doing exercise that may challenge your balance.

High-Risk

If you have a high-risk pregnancymultiple pregnancies or if you have any incidence of bleeding or contractions that occur with exercise, it is advised that you seek medical guidance before beginning or continuing exercise.

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes you can feel pretty miserable during your first trimester and exercising during pregnancy is the last thing that you feel like participating in. That’s okay. 

When you feel up to getting back to it, it is recommended that you take it slow and not pick up from where you left off. 

Overall, it is important to stay safely active and healthy throughout your pregnancy to help your body prepare for childbirth and the journey that follows thereafter. 

If you are unsure, always speak with your Maternal Health Physio, Obstetrician or GP before beginning or continuing exercise when you are pregnant.

Want To Start Pilates?

Click here for more information about starting Pilates while you’re pregnant