“Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy, and if so how much?” - It’s a question that expectant mum’s often ask ATUNE’s Osteopaths and Physiotherapists.
The truth is there is no simple ‘one size fits’ all answer. Why would there be when every woman and every pregnancy is unique. With that said, there are a few guidelines to help keep pregnant women safe while physically active.
How Much Exercise During Pregnancy?
Women of normal weight with single uncomplicated gestations can safely perform 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity, low impact, aerobic exercise, 3-4 times per week. This level of exercise is associated with a higher incidence of vaginal delivery and a lower incidence of cesarean delivery. It also reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes, mellitus and hypertensive disorders. It is not associated with an increased risk of preterm birth.
Level of Exercise During Pregnancy
It is also important to take into consideration the level of exercise under taken prior to pregnancy. Women who have previously exercised regularly and have low risk uncomplicated pregnancies can continue their exercise routines. Women who have been inactive prior to pregnancy can commence exercise with low intensity activities such as walking or swimming. However, we strongly advise obtaining personalized guidance from a health professional prior to doing so to ensure exercise it is safe for mum and bub. A women’s health physiotherapist can guide you through the process.
Keeping It Safe
A few words of caution: Exercise during pregnancy is not recommended for women with a number of medical conditions including heart disease, severe high blood pressure, those at risk of premature labour and pre-eclampsia. Women should immediately stop exercising if they are experiencing any abnormal symptoms such as abdominal pain, contractions, vaginal bleeding, dizziness or shortness of breath.
There you have it, a few guidelines to get you started. For more information, seek advice from ATUNE’s women’s health physiotherapists or speak to your obstetrician. You can read more on this subject at Sports Medicine Australia.