Should I exercise while I’m pregnant? What are the benefits?

Generally speaking, unless your doctor says that you should avoid exercise for medical reasons, pregnant woman should keep a regular routine of mild to moderate exercise.  There are a few exceptions to this guideline. Exercise is not recommended for women who have:

 Failed to gain weight
 Preeclampsia
 Premature rupture of the membrane
 Hypertension
 Heart disease
 Preterm labor
 Second or third trimester bleeding
 A weak cervix

While those who do not exercise during their pregnancy will not harm the baby, they will probably feel more of the aches and pains and troublesome symptoms of pregnancy.  Not only does exercise help us feel better; it helps prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy.  A person who exercises develops stronger muscles, bones and joints.  There are many benefits to exercise, but for expecting parents there are even more benefits than to those that are not.  Exercise helps relieve stress and can help you build strength and stamina (very important for the upcoming labor!).  Improving your stamina will help you feel less tired from your regular daily demands.  Additionally, exercise can help alleviate post partum depression and can help control gestational diabetes, with the right diet in place.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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