Exercise With Care During Pregnancy

Working out while pregnant can be good for you, but you do have some special things to keep in mind. Talk about your fitness routine with your doctor before you begin.

If your doctor approves your workout, keep these things in mind:

Don't push too hard

  • You should be able to talk easily while working out.

Stay hydrated and keep cool

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
  • Carry a water bottle, and don't work out in very warm places or muggy weather.

Use weights only if your doctor approves it

  • Keep it light - lifting heavier weights may cause you to strain.

Count calories

  • You need at least 300 extra calories a day to support your growing baby, and even more if you're exercising regularly.

Stop when tired

  • This is not the time to test your limits.

Watch your back

  • When you reach your second three months, lying on your back may weaken blood flow to the placenta.

Avoid working out when you have a fever

  • It will only make your body warmer, which could be unsafe for your baby.

Things to avoid

  • Rough team sports
  • Straining
    • Exercises that could deprive you of oxygen
    • Scuba diving
    • Hiking at a high altitude
    • Exercises that call for repeated bouncing or jerking movements
    • Cardio kickboxing
    • Exercises that can strain you
    • Power-lifting
    • Leg presses
    • Pull-ups
    • Sit-ups

Danger signs

Stop exercising right away and call your doctor if you have:

  • Belly or pelvic pain
  • Uterine contractions
  • Lack of movement coming from your baby
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Coldness or clamminess
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fluid leaking from your vagina
  • A strange or rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Problems walking
  • Sudden swelling in your hands, face or ankles

Know your limits

If you have any long-term illnesses, such as asthma, high blood pressure or high blood sugar, your doctor may have more specific recommendations.
If you didn't work out before you became pregnant, now is not the time to become a fitness fanatic. Working out can be a good idea, but keep it simple with daily walks and mild exercises.

Seek out a class made for pregnant women. Working out with someone who knows your needs can be a big help.

Sometimes your doctor will suggest you avoid working out at all, like if you have:

  • Heart disease or some kinds of lung disease
  • Second- or third-trimester bleeding
  • High blood pressure brought on by being pregnant
  • Premature labor , even when pregnant in the past
  • An intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), when the baby is growing at a slower-than-normal rate
  • A weak cervix
  • Placenta previa, when the placenta is attached too low in the womb
  • Your water breaks too early

Never take part in any risky hobbies, such as:

  • Horseback riding
  • Scuba diving
  • Snow- and water-skiing
  • Ice-skating
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Any other sport where you may be hit by a ball or other object

Working out may keep you in better shape to lose weight after your baby is born. Just be careful and do it safely.

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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