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Is it Safe to Exercise During
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends
that women without medical or obstetric complications should be encouraged to
exercise 30 minutes or more per day.
Activities Considered Safe in Pregnancy
- Strength training
Your usual routine may need to be modified for the following:
Activities Not Safe in Pregnancyymnastics
Vigorous racquet sports
TIPS FOR SAFE EXERCISE WHILE PREGNANT
- If you haven't exercised for a while, begin slowly with a 5 minute work
out and gradually work up to your goal over many weeks.
If you can't talk while exercising, then slow down or take a break.
Drink plenty of water before, during , and after exercise.
- Avoid exercising on your back after the first trimester.
- Avoid exercising in hot weather. Instead exercise in an
air-conditioned room when the weather is hot and humid.
- Wear clothing that is comfortable.
- Increase your caloric intake.
STOP EXERCISING AND CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF YOU HAVE ANY OF
THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS DURING EXERCISE:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Contractions or pain in the back of the pelvis
- Fluid leaking from the vagina.
- Shortness of breath
- Your heart begins to skip beats or becomes irregular
- Chest pain
- Calf or leg pain
- Decreased fetal movement
- Unusual pain
- New onset headache
WOMEN WITH ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN AEROBIC
EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY:
Risk factors for preterm labor (such as multiple gestation ,
incompetent cervix with or without cerclage)
Preterm labor with the current pregnancy.
Ruptured of membranes
Vaginal bleeding or placenta previa
Fetal growth restriction in the current pregnancy
Hemodynamically significant heart disease or unevaluated cardiac arrhythmia
- Restrictive lung disease
WOMEN WITH ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS SHOULD ENGAGE IN AEROBIC EXERCISE
ONLY ON THE ADVICE OF THEIR PHYSICIAN DURING PREGNANCY:
- Diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia
- Heavy smokers
- Obese women
Poorly controlled medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, seizure
disorder, insulin dependent diabetes, or hypertension.
- Severe anemia
- Underweight women.
1. Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. ACOG Committee Opinion
No. 267. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol
ACOG Education Pamphlet: Exercise During Pregnancy
3. Clapp JF. Fetal heart rate response to running in mid pregnancy
and late pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1985;153:251-2.PMID:4050891
4. Artal R, Romem Y, Paul RH, Wiswell R. Fetal bradycardia induced
by maternal exercise. Lancet 1984;ii:258-60.PMID:6146811
5. Clapp JF, Dickstein S. Endurance exercise and pregnancy
outcome. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1984;16:556-62.PMID:6513772
6.Veille JC et al. Umbilical artery waveform during bicycle exercise in
normal pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 1989 ;73(6):957-60.PMID:2657527
7. Ertan AK, et al. Doppler examinations of fetal and uteroplacental blood
flow in AGA and IUGR fetuses before and after maternal physical exercise with
the bicycle ergometer. J Perinat Med 2004;32(3):260-5. PMID:15188802
Reviewed: Mark Curran, M.D.
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