All you need to know!


Is exercising in my pregnancy safe?

Yes exercising is 100% safe in your pregnancy for you and your growing baby. In fact you are safer to exercise in pregnancy than not as it can prevent illness like gestational diabetes.

The only considerations that do have to be made is the type of exercise that you may want to do. For example if you are a keen runner, gym goer or group exercise fanatic and you were at a good fitness level before pregnancy it is perfectly safe to continue with your current activities, making some sensible adaptions along the way.

If you were not a keen exerciser before pregnancy and now all of a sudden you feel you should be on a health kick this is not the time to take up high intensity exercise, however its never to late to be active and swimming or aqua natal is a great way place to start.

(Always consult your midwife or GP before embarking on any new fitness regime during pregnancy)


So why should I exercise during my pregnancy?

•To prepare your body and your pelvic floor for birth and following pregnancy. You are preparing your body for the toughest changes so it makes sense to work on preparing for the event. You would not run a Marathon without any training would you?

•It strengthens your core to prepare you for birth

•Helps maintain your fitness

•Manages and reduces maternal weight gain

•Reduces labour time making it potentially easier and shorter

•Better self image

•Gives you body awareness

•Quicker post-natal recovery post birth

•Improved posture

•Increased energy & stamina


Things you need to consider:

During pregnancy your body goes through a lot of changes which are more noticeable in the first trimester and then even more noticeable as you progress into your 2nd and 3rd trimester so below I have listed some important points to consider when exercising during pregnancy.

  • One thing that is essential during exercise in pregnancy is to ensure you control your body temperature. It is key to exercise to a intensity that is manageable for your body as blood volume increases significantly during pregnancy.

  • Back in the 90's there was lot of research that suggested it was not safe for a women to raise her heart rate past 140bpm however this is now old news, so the best way to control your temperature and breathing is to rely on a 'talk test'. The talk test works by you trying to talk while working out, if you can hold a comfortable conversation while exercising and your breathing is not too strained you can be assured you are ok to carry on exercising at that level. If you are gasping for breath and unable to say a word you know you need to reduce the intensity and take a break. You will find your breath is laboured more and you may get out of breath quicker during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy this is completely normal.

  • Heart rate monitors are good to use some extent but not as reliable during pregnancy as your heart rate will indicate a higher level than normal which then gives a inaccurate picture.

  • Ensure to wear loose clothing, stay hydrated and take plenty of rest when needed. Avoid working out in hot conditions.

  • Listen to your body, if you feel unwell or become dizzy whilst exercising take a break immediately and rehydrate.

  • Remember every body is different so please consult your GP/Midwife if you have any worries about your health and exercise during pregnancy.


16 weeks on onwards:

After 16 weeks of pregnancy is recommended that women do not exercise on their back for more than a couple of minutes due to the possibility of restricted blood flow to you and your baby which can cause dizziness and feelings of extreme nausea. Exercises can always be adapted and there is many more ways to strengthen your core than crunches. Hooray!