Exercise During Pregnancy - Topic Overview
you are doing and contact your doctor if you notice any of the
- Excessive fatigue or shortness of
- Pain or cramping, especially in the back or pelvic
- Vaginal bleeding or rupture of the
- Pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
or unusual sensations in your chest
- Persistent contractions
After your fourth month of pregnancy, avoid any exercise
that requires you to lie flat on your back on a hard surface, such as sit-ups
and some yoga poses. The increasing size and weight of your uterus will press
on the large blood vessel that returns blood from your lower body to your
As your pregnancy advances (usually during the second
trimester), unstable joints, an expanding abdomen, and an altered center of
gravity can make you more unstable on your feet. Also, by then your uterus is
mostly above the protective circle of your pelvic bones. Avoid exercises that
might cause you to fall, such as skiing or roller-skating.
Swimming and brisk walking are safe exercises throughout pregnancy.
- Do not start a new or more strenuous exercise
program without first checking with your doctor.
- Do not use
exercise to lose weight.
- Avoid exercising during hot, humid weather
or if you are not feeling well.
- Discontinue dangerous sports, such
as horseback or motorcycle riding, water-skiing, diving, parachute jumping, or
There is no evidence that exercise causes
miscarriage.3 But if you have a history of repeated
miscarriages, your doctor may advise you to avoid exercises that require your
body to bear extra weight (such as running) during the first trimester.
Your baby will not be harmed if you can't exercise because of a
complication of your pregnancy or an existing chronic illness or condition. You
may be able to do simple exercises in bed, with your doctor's approval.