The benefits of exercise during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your changing body and hormone levels present their fair share of challenges. But growing research shows that exercise helps you to adapt to these throughout pregnancy and even in labour.
It’s a common myth that exercising during pregnancy is bad for your baby. In reality, the opposite is true. Here we take a closer look at the health benefits of exercise to you and your baby, and what simple changes you can make to have a fitter pregnancy.
Starting a safe workout routine
Studies into pregnancy exercise are generally based on 150 minutes of activity per week. How you space these minutes out is up to you, although it’s best not to exceed 30 minutes of exercise per session. The goal is to raise heartrate, engage your muscles and core through aerobic activities such as walking, pilates, jogging and swimming.
It’s advised to start your routine slowly with adding five extra minutes per day each week. Sports that have a high risk of falling such as horse riding and skiing are best avoided.
Exercise is safe for most pregnant women, however it is advised to speak to your GP or midwife before exercising if you experience any of the below:
Known weakness of the cervix or if you’ve had a cervical stitch
A twin or multiple pregnancy
History of premature labour or any signs of premature labour in your pregnancy
Premature waters breaking
Vaginal bleeding that continues throughout your pregnancy
Placenta praevia, which is where the placenta is close to the cervix
Poorly controlled diabetes, seizures or thyroid disease during pregnancy
Anaemia during pregnancy
Bone or joint problems that affect mobility
An eating disorder
A body mass index higher than 40 or you are very inactive
A smoking habit where you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day