Exercise in pregnancy

There are many benefits of exercising in pregnancy not only physically but psychologically too.

Exercise can help your body adapt to the physical changes that come with pregnancy, prevent excessive weight gain and give you more energy. It can also provide an overall sense of wellbeing, help to reduce stress and symptoms of depression.

For women without complications, we would encourage you to continue with your established exercise routines avoiding contact sports, excessive twisting, jumping, and bouncing movements.

For women who are new to exercise, choose low impact sports such as walking, swimming or yoga. Aim to start with 15-20 minutes three times per week and gradually build this up. If you have complications in your pregnancy, it is important you consult with your midwife or doctor before commencing exercise.

Some exercises may affect your pelvic floor muscles and therefore we would strongly encourage you to see a Women’s Health Physio (WHP) who will assist you in strengthening these muscles.

Tips for exercising in pregnancy:

  • Exercise in a cool, ventilated environment
  • Wear light clothing
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise
  • Listen to your body, the volume and intensity of exercise will gradually decrease as you progress in your pregnancy
  • If you have any pain or discomfort please stop and seek help.

RANZCOG: Exercise during pregnancy
KEMH: Pregnancy, birth and your baby A guide to your care with Women and Newborn health Service

Written by Grace Green, Endorsed Midwife