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Dos & Don’ts For Exercising While Being Pregnant

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases in a woman’s life. If you are pregnant then we first of all congratulate you. It is obvious that you might be going through a wonderful time now in your life and we wish you to enjoy at your best. And to enjoy your pregnancy you definitely need to remain fit at body and mind and that is where exercise comes in to act. Exercising while being pregnant is good for you and your baby; however, there are some dos and don’ts for exercising while being pregnant. In order to know about them, do read the following array of the article.

Dos & Don’ts For Exercising While Being Pregnant

How Exercise Helps While Being Pregnant?

Exercise is essential for women all throughout her life and it’s also true that pregnancy is the phase where exercise is required, though you might not feel like exercising as you might feel more tired than usual. However, exercising during pregnancy can actually help you get more of energy, help you properly sleep during nights, facilitate an easier labor, and also help you speed up the recovery time after the childbirth. (1) Exercising during pregnancy is also good for you as it helps you maintain a positive outlook and makes you feel confident. It also helps you avoid leg cramps, nausea, constipation, swollen feet, varicose vein, back pain and insomnia. You can also have less chances of gestational diabetes, lower risk of urinary incontinence, and less tiredness during pregnancy.

It must also be mentioned that by exercising during pregnancy you keep your muscles well toned and strong, and it makes your body easier to deal with several changes in the posture during the pregnant phase. There is also evidence that an increased level of fitness aids you shorten your labor and also your postpartum recovery period and also reduce your overall anxiety that usually happens about childbirth. (2)

Apart from this, exercising during pregnancy is also good for your baby. There are studies which show that babies, whose mothers did exercise during their pregnancy, might be benefited from better stress tolerance and also an advanced neurobehavioral maturity. It must be noted that such children are leaner at 5 years of their age and have got a better early neurodevelopment. Exercising during pregnancy can also help your baby have a healthier heart, reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome, normal birth weight

However, you need to know that if you have been a couch potato before pregnancy, then you need to talk with your midwife and your fitness trainer properly about how to begin the exercise during pregnancy. You can start doing exercises slowly and gently, as per your comfort ability. However, if you have remained active before pregnancy then it is quite safe for pregnancy to exercise.

NOTE: It is always important for you to talk to your doctor about the kind of exercise program you are going to involve with during your pregnancy.

Dos For Exercising While Being Pregnant:

Dos are:

Do Check With Your Midwife:

It is very much important for you to check with your midwife about your condition before getting involved in any kind of exercise during pregnancy. It is not recommended to exercise in some circumstances during pregnancy and it can create unwanted complications.

Let Your Fitness Trainer Know That You Are Pregnant:

You must also make sure that your fitness trainer is well aware of your pregnancy and you always reach an expert and qualified trainer for knowing about the best exercises for you during your pregnant phase. However, if you are unsure about the trainer’s ability to guide you then do make sure that you talk with your doctor or midwife for a good referral.

Engage Your Core And Your Pelvic Floor By Using Your Breath:

Engage you core and your pelvic floor by using your breath throughout the workout programs. (3) Our breath plays a major part in controlled core for assisting with labor as well as for reducing back pain. We all take thousands of breaths every day, and as the baby grows inside during pregnancy, pressure is placed on the lungs and also the pelvic floor.

So, preparing as well as practicing proper breath ensures you that your core stays as integrated and also activated as much possible all throughout as well as after the pregnancy.

Do Join A Pre And A Post Natal Class:

You need to join a pre and a post natal class so as to move in specific ways that is designed to enhance your overall health and also recovery post childbirth.

This not only offers you with a chance for connecting with several other pre and post natal women in and around your place for creating a community, and it also assists you to access to various pre and post natal experts who actually can give you best advices for exercising or workouts whilst you are in your pregnancy phase.

Do Swimming:

One more thing that you should do during your pregnancy, especially in you 3rd trimester, is swimming. This is beneficial at removing weight and also enhancing lymphatic drainage of your ankles and feet.

We know that ankles swell during the last few months of your pregnancy and this occurs because of the changes in posture from the weight of your stomach pulling down towards the ground. Consequently, this leads the front part of the hips to become compressed; which in turn reduces the lymphatic fluid’s circulation in your lower body.
One of the best ways to improve this lymphatic fluid circulation in lower body parts is to get into water, because the pressure from the water removes the weight of your bump whilst offering pressure to your legs improving the circulation.

Look For A Holistic Core Restore Coach:

It is also essential for you to look for a holistic core restore core during your pregnancy, who can work with you for integrating your core and your pelvic floor with the whole body through a series of exercises or movements and several lifestyle factors.

Concentrate On Strength Training The Glute Muscles:

You also need to concentrate on strength training the glute muscles so as to counteract the anterior tilt that is produced by the expanding bump in your pregnancy.

Most women simply focus on keeping their core engaged and active during pregnancy; however, in actual the synergist muscles to the core for your pelvic stability is your butt.

Concentrate on strengthening the glute muscles so as to support the core, posture, and your back. Hinge movements, like single leg Romanian dead-lifts are a great way for doing so. This can be done by holding a dumbbell also; however, when your bump is too big just makes use of your own bodyweight.

Practice 7 Fundamental Primal Movement Patterns In Your Pregnancy Workouts:

You need to practice the 7 fundamental patterns of primal movement in the workouts during pregnancy, and these include the squat, anti-rotate, lunge, push, hinge, carry, and pull.

These movements, especially the squats help in improving the pelvic floor stability and also the elasticity so as to help prevent tearing during your natural process of labor. Moreover by practicing abdominal strength exercises you can improve the hip mobility for a faster postnatal recovery and also for an easier labor.

You can also go for some low weight training or carry weights. However, you need to note that no weight on your front is essential, as the belly weight is the natural weight that you carry during the pregnancy.

You need to practice the anti-rotation exercises whilst properly focusing on your breath for a core integration and activation.

Do Exercise That You Enjoy:

Be sure that you are doing the exercises that you enjoy, during your pregnancy. This way you feel less stressed while exercising.

Warm Up And Cool Down:

You need to very much strict enough in doing warm ups and also cool down in your workouts. They are very much needed before and after exercising, respectively.

Exercise Moderately But Be Consistent:

One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is to exercise on a moderate level for at least 30 minutes on most of the days. You also need to try and exercise regularly and on a consistent basis.

Seek Advice When Needed:

Keep it noted that whenever you require do seek advice from medical professional, especially if you start feeling severe localized pain, general sickness, or vaginal bleeding during exercising in your pregnancy.

Stay Hydrated:

You need to know that dehydration could be one of the most common thing that can happen during pregnancy and it can also result in overheating, which is actually dangerous for the growing fetus. So, you need to remain cool and drink enough of water, especially before, during and also after exercising in pregnancy.

Do Kegel Exercises:

Kegel exercises when done daily in pregnancy help in preventing urinary incontinence. (3) They are quite simple to perform. You need to repeatedly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles as though you are starting and stopping the urine flow.

Don’ts For Exercising While Being Pregnant:

In case you are new to exercising or simply got pregnant recently, you need to check with your GP or your midwife before commencing the exercise program. Do not do any kind of exercise without consulting your midwife if you are pregnant.

Don’t Exercise If You Experience The Following Symptoms:

Keep a check not to exercise if you experience any of the symptoms like an incompetent cervix, persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester vaginal bleeding, premature labor, preeclampsia, or ruptured membranes.

Don’t Lie Flat And Don’t Do Crunches:

You need to know that during pregnancy, you must not lie flat or do crunches. They put pressure on your body. The bump’s weight pressing on specific blood vessels can actually reduce cardiac input, can make you feel quite dizzy and can also affect the blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients to the baby.

Don’t Do High Intensity Workouts:

Make sure that you are not doing the high intensity workouts. Experts advice that you must avoid going for activities that raises your core temperature to more than 2 degrees c or more than 38.9 degrees C. This is because of the fact that such a temperature change might cause hyperthermia and this during pregnancy can increase the chances of risk of birth defects such as the defects that impact the baby’s brain and the spine.

It is also advised not to use spas or hot bathtubs during pregnancy, and also not to do hot yoga. You also must keep in mind to perform only moderate intensity exercise.

Don’t Do High Contact Or Dangerous Sports:

One of the most important “Don’ts” for exercising when you are pregnant is not to do high contact or any dangerous sports. This is because with these you are likely to fall or can have unwanted accidents.

You need to avoid dangerous sport like the scuba diving during your pregnancy as your baby will be having no protection against decompression sickness or gas embolism during this activity and this can cut off the supply or blood and result in breathing problems.

Similarly, climbing, horse riding, gymnastics, cycling, and several other activities that need extreme balance are good to avoid in case you are pregnant.

Apart from these, you should also avoid sports such as boxing, rugby, or jujitsu so as to protect your bump.

Don’t Use Heavy Weights:

You must strictly note not to use heavy weights and jerking or bouncing movements, especially during your third trimester. This is because hormones during this period make your body more malleable; and when you lift weights during this period it can put excess of stress on your bones, tendons and your ligaments, and thus make you more susceptible to injuries.

Don’t Allow Your Body Temperature To Go High:

Don’t allow your body temperature to go high above 102 degrees F. ensure that you are working out in air conditioned rooms and also keep self cools while exercising. You should in general keep the heart rate below 140 beats per minute.

Don’t Exercise More Than 3-5 Days A Week:

Don’t exercise for more than 3-5 days in a week. You need to understand that your body requires rest, and thus do not overdo. Also note that in case you are experiencing symptoms like faintness, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, vaginal bleeding, fluid leaking, uterine contractions, or heart palpitations, stop exercising immediately and reach your midwife.


So from the above, we are now very much aware of some of the dos and don’ts for exercising when you are pregnant. So, you can keep these in mind while exercising during pregnancy to get the best of your health during your pregnant phase and to keep you and your child safe. Apart from exercising it is also important for you to take a well nutritious and balanced diet during pregnancy. So, add more of fresh foods, and also avoid high-calorie sugar containing foods.

NOTE: Exercises are not only safe to do while your pregnancy, but it might also help you ease various discomforts during pregnancy and also help you have an easier labor and quick recovery after childbirth. However; you must always maintain safe precautions and should consult with your doctor before starting any exercise during pregnancy so as to keep away from any unwanted complications.


Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 2, 2019

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