Is It Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?

Wanting to do the best for your baby while your pregnant is one of the biggest things moms-to-be worry about. There is so much misinformation out there that it’s no wonder moms are so worried they’re going to do the wrong thing. It’s a lot of pressure. Your body is growing a baby and you want your baby to be healthy and it’s a weird time where your body is in control — but not you. Exercise and staying fit is something many people say is a good thing to do, but you might find yourself wondering: Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

The answer to that really kind of depends. As with anything related to your health, and your health during pregnancy, it’s best to have a chat with your care provider to get the best information based on your particular circumstances. Always important to check in with them verses taking the advice of the internet. There are some general guidelines on whether it is safe to exercise during pregnancy though.

According to WebMD, there used to be this idea that pregnancy and exercise don’t go together. Back when our parents were having kids, women were encouraged to rest and be sitting with their feet up. This advice can be useful, but experts say that exercise during pregnancy can actually be a really good thing.

“You need to be physically active during pregnancy. It has terrific benefits that are associated with a better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors. It’s a win-win for baby and for mom,” says high-risk pregnancy expert Laura Riley, MD, spokeswoman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and author of Pregnancy: You and Your Baby told WebMD.

“There are so many rumors out there, some started or perpetuated by popular pregnancy books, others the result of old wives’ tales or outdated advice, so that many women really are confused about what they can and can’t do,” Riley adds.

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Really the advice seems to be that if you exercised before pregnancy, it’s totally safe and encouraged to continue during your pregnancy. It’s also generally OK to start exercising during pregnancy, even if you weren’t that active before those two pink lines showed up. BUT — the biggest advice seems to be that if you’re going to exercise during pregnancy, it’s important to listen to your body.

That means, if you’re feeling extra tired, go slower. If something hurts, stop and/or modify so it doesn’t hurt. And always be sure to eat enough calories for what you’re burning and to drink more water to ward off dehydration.

Parents says, in terms of what kind of exercise is safe, there is a lot that’s totally fair game.  “While there are some things to avoid, such as scuba diving, horseback riding, or any contact sport that could cause blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, there’s relatively little that pregnant women can’t do.”

There you have it — exercise is safe during pregnancy and can actually be a really good thing. Of course though, check in with your care provider before you start any new exercises.

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