Exercise During Pregnancy

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy and Cautions

Regular exercise helps you lower the discomfort and result in several health benefits during pregnancy. Exercise:

  • Reduce fatigue, risk of varicose veins, and swelling of limbs.
  • Reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia (lack of sleep).
  • Reduce the duration of labour and ease the child birth.
  • Reduce birth complications.
  • Reduce body weight after pregnancy.
  • Increase the strength of your heart and lungs.
  • Reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension and complications.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Improve the back pain and difficulty in breathing.


If you have one of the following conditions, see your doctor before starting exercises, and you need medical supervision to exercise.

  • Heart diseases and cardiac arrhythmias
  • Chronic (long-term) lung disease
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension and its complications
  • Continuous or recurrent bleeding in the second or third trimester
  • History of preterm labour
  • Anaemia
  • Poorly controlled seizures, thyroid diseases, hypertension or diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Eating disorders
  • BMI is more than 40.
  • Multiple gestation
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Weakness of the cervix
  • Cervical cerclage
  • Preterm rupture of membranes
  • Placenta previa after 26 weeks of pregnancy
  • Heavy smoking
  • Orthopaedic problems
  • Extremely sedentary life


Alarming signs to stop the exercise and see your doctor.

If you feel or have one of the following symptoms, it is better you to stop your exercise immediately and see your doctor.

  • Chest pain
  • Palpitation
  • Excessive difficulty in breathing
  • Calf pain and swelling
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing at rest
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Reduced foetal movements
  • Pain in the pubic area or back
  • Leakage of fluid from the vagina
  • Painful uterine contractions
  • Dizziness
  • Faint


(Photo courtesy: A Healthier Michigan)



Related Links:

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Pregnancy
How a Baby Is Conceived?
Pregnancy by Weeks
Manage Your Weight During Pregnancy

About the author
Dr. Nalaka Priyantha is the founder and author of 'DRN Health'. He currently works at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka as a senior medical officer. He is blogging about healthy living since 2012.
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