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  • Writer's pictureCoach James

Exercises for Pregnancy - What you need to Know!

As you probably already know, here at Midwife Pip HQ we are big advocates of Exercise in Pregnancy… Yes no more sitting on the sofa for 9 months preparing for birth.

In this blog I will be covering:

Should I be exercising in Pregnancy?

All of you reading this should be exercising in pregnancy, unless you have a specific medical advice telling you not to do any. Some of the conditions listed at the end of this article are worth speaking to your GP/Midwife about.

Exercise in Pregnancy can be great for you in many ways, from a shorter labour time to fewer complications… definitely a reason to start exercising in pregnancy… yes even for those of you who haven’t even started yet..

Benefits of Exercising in Pregnancy

Here are just some of the amazing reasons why you should be exercising in pregnancy:

  • Exercise in Pregnancy helps to reduce high blood pressure

  • Helps to reduce the likelihood of varicose veins, swelling in ankles, feet and hands and back pain.

  • Helps reduce the risk of diabetes. For those of you who have gestational diabetes, exercise may also help control it

  • Helps you to adapt to your ever-changing pregnancy body shape and maintain a healthy weight during and after pregnancy

  • Improves your fitness and energy levels

  • Improves your sleep

  • Improves mood, and reduces depression and anxiety

  • Lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia, caesarean birth, and very low birth weight babies

  • Increases your strength and endurance, which improves your body’s ability to cope with the demands of birth and motherhood

  • Give you a higher chance of a straightforward labour and faster/improved recovery after birth


Your Pregnancy Fitness

Now to share some pregnancy exercise methods with you

Weight Training for Pregnancy

Exercises for Pregnancy

A fantastic way to help develop and prepare your body for the physical demands of labour… weight training best replicates some of the efforts you will need to be doing when you start to birth your child…and it creates some of the best changes to help negate some of the negative changes child birth brings.

We highly recommend working with someone qualified in the field as there needs to be some adaptions to the programme, which should be made in a way that is specific to each different trimester and altered to suit your needs (You need to make sure you avoid certain positions and follow the correct technique)…Want the perfect solutions, then sign up to Your Pregnancy Journey Fitness, where everything is designed to help you, during pregnancy and the postpartum.

Swimming in Pregnancy

Swimming can be a great way to ease swelling, give you a feeling of weightlessness and relief from sciatic pain as it encourages circulation. It is also a good way to get some aerobic strengthening in too without any extra load on your joints.

Swimming can also help with leg swelling, relieve stress and help your baby into a good position for birth… Those of you in Trimester 3 give this a go to help with positioning but avoid backstroke.

Running in Pregnancy

Running in pregnancy can give a number of benefits and evidence suggests it does not affect gestational age or birth weight centile.

It is great to mix running with some other low impact exercises like static cycling and swimming to balance out your week to aid recovery…. Ps. Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises each day too.

Walking in Pregnancy

Some people frown when I say walking for exercise in pregnancy… the bonus of heading through a park, forest or woodland is that connecting with nature can reduce stress levels. You may also find it relaxing… why not listen to Midwife Pip Podcast on one of your walks.

Yoga or Pilates in Pregnancy

These tend to be quite popular in pregnancy… partially due to poor education around the benefits of weight training in pregnancy… therefore people are looking for a ‘safer option’, whilst weight training should be at the core of everything you do. Yoga can be a good way to easy any stress and Pilates can help with some low level strengthening of your muscles. It is important to consider a qualified instructor who is qualified to teach pregnant women.

Pregnancy Exercises to Avoid

With all the positives of exercise during pregnancy, there are some exercises that aren’t advisable. If you are in doubt, speak to your midwife or GP.

Contact Sports or Vigorous Racquet Sports during pregnancy

Can lead to abdominal trauma, falls or excessive joint stress

Exercise over 2500m above sea level in pregnancy

Whilst this may sound unusual, but it can lead to altitude sickness. If you do want to exercise in these conditions, please wait until you have acclimatised.

Scuba Diving in Pregnancy

A no no here… It can cause birth defects or fetal compression

We very much hope you found this blog useful, if you did then please give it a share so it can benefit others…

If you want more help and support with this subject, Your Pregnancy Journey combines a mixture of different approaches to benefit you during pregnancy, why don’t you sign up and give it a go here.


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