Ask our midwife: about exercise during pregnancy

If you're pregnant, should you keep up with your normal fitness routine? We ask our midwife for her expert opinion on exercise during pregnancy:

What impact does pregnancy have on your exercise routine? Should you still be running? What about working out at the gym?

We asked our midwife, Summaya, for her advice:

Keep up normal physical day to day activity or exercise for as long as you feel comfortable but remember that you will need to slow down as the pregnancy progresses.

If you did not exercise prior to pregnancy, please do not suddenly take on a new strenuous exercise regime.

'Good' pregnancy exercises include:

  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Foot exercises
  • Back strengthening exercises.

Remember that exercises should be gentle as they do not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercises to avoid include:

  • Laying flat on you back particularly after 16 weeks as the baby can press on your major blood vessels and may make you feel faint
  • Contact sports
  • Also avoid sports with risks of falling i.e. horse riding and cycling
  • Caution should be taken if running as a form of exercise, as the additional weight of pregnancy will put additional strain on your pelvic floor.

Make sure you follow these key points:

  • Ensure that you always warm up and cool down
  • Avoid strenuous exercises in hot weather
  • Always drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • If you attend exercise classes please check that the teacher is a qualified instructor and inform them that you are pregnant enabling them to adapt any exercises required.

You might like to try swimming as the water will support your increased weight gain and some local pools provide aquanatal classes - research, investigate, get involved.

Did you exercise during pregnancy? What worked for you?

And read our posts on exercise after a c-section and tips for a gentle recovery from childbirth.


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