Keeping active

Keeping active

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. In fact, evidence suggests that the more active and fit you are during your pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and maintain a healthy weight. It will also help you to cope with the physical demands of pregnancy and labour, and get back into shape after the birth.

Exercise also reduces the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects and gestational diabetes, which can lead to delivery complications and low blood sugar. It can also prevent you from getting high blood pressure, which can result in a stillbirth.

Keep up your normal physical activity or exercise (whether it's sport, yoga, dancing or just walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable. But don’t overdo it. You'll probably need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your midwife or GP advises you to. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant but if you become breathless as you talk, you’re probably exercising too hard.

And if you weren't active before you got pregnant, don't suddenly take up a strenuous exercise plan! If you start doing aerobic exercise (such as running, swimming, walking or aerobics), tell the instructor you're pregnant and to start with, don't exceed three times a week or do more than 15 minutes at a time. Increase this gradually but remember that exercise doesn't have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Surprised? Check out our Fact or myth? section.