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Obstetrics Services


Exercise in Pregnancy

Daily exercise is a pivotal part of a healthy lifestyle – especially during pregnancy! Regular activity during pregnancy improves your overall strength and fitness and decreases your risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and excess weight gain. It can also help with constipation and improve back and hip pain throughout your pregnancy. Ideally, pregnant women should get 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.

If you are new to exercise, start slow and add a few minutes each week until you can stay active for 20 minutes at a time. If you are accustomed to regular exercise, you can keep doing the same routine you are used to. Talk with your provider about starting or maintaining a healthy exercise routine during your pregnancy.

Important Exercise Tips During Pregnancy

Staying active during pregnancy can help reduce muscle aches, increase energy, improve mood and help you sleep better.

Regular activity in pregnancy can also help you prepare for labor and childbirth.

Avoid jerky or high-impact motions that can increase your risk of injury since pregnancy hormones can cause laxity of the ligaments that support your joints.

Walking, swimming, cycling and aerobics are great forms of exercise during pregnancy. You can continue exercising in ways that your body is used to.

Swimming either in a pool or lake is acceptable as long as there are no pregnancy problems (loss of mucus plug, bloody show, etc).

Some activities should be avoided during pregnancy including downhill skiing, contact sports, and scuba diving. Other activities with a risk of falling or trauma should be avoided including water skiing, ice skating, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and gymnastics.

You should avoid abdominal crunches or laying flat on your back for more than a few minutes at a time after 18 weeks.

If you have risk factors for preterm labor or are suffering from vaginal bleeding or premature rupture of membranes, you may be advised to avoid exercise.

Be sure to talk with your provider regarding your exercise routine.

Discontinue exercise and call our office right away if you experience any of the following: vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, regular painful contractions, amniotic fluid leakage, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, chest pain, muscle weakness affecting balance, or calf pain / swelling.


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