Obstetrics & Gynecology in Augusta, GA

Exercise During Pregnancy

The key to healthy exercise during pregnancy is to not wait until you are pregnant to establish a regular exercise program.  Women who enter into pregnancy fit and exercising can, in most cases, continue their exercise regimens with certain common sense caveats.  Begin from the perspective of what can I do instead of what are my restrictions.  Every new mom’s situation is unique, so don’t do anything until you discuss it with your doctor, but it is a conversation you need to have.  According to the America College of Obstetricians there are a few instances where you shouldn’t exercise:

  •  Symptomatic heart disease
  •  Restrictive lung disease (such as bad asthma)
  •  Incompetent cervix/cerclage
  •  Multiple gestation at risk for premature labor
  •  Persistent second- or third-trimester bleeding
  •  Placenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation
  •  Premature labor during the current pregnancy
  •  Ruptured membranes
  •  Preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension


So what kind of exercise is best in pregnancy?  The simple answer is that there is no best.  Much of that depends on what you have been doing prior, or better yet, what you enjoy.  I can hear you now, “I don’t enjoy any type of exercise!”.  It’s time for a little attitude change because it’s not just about you anymore.  You see, exercise not only helps you while carrying the little bambino, but also helps the bambino. Women who exercise in pregnancy have a lower incidence of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and    excessive weight gain, all of which can lesson the problems for the baby.

There are a few common sense guidelines to follow with exercise in pregnancy:


  •  After the first trimester, avoid exercises lying on your back
  •  Start slowly and gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day
  •  Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or if you have a fever
  •  Wear comfortable clothing to keep cool
  •  Wear a bra that is comfortable and gives lots of support
  •  Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated at all times
  •  Consume an appropriate diet to keep energy up


The rule of thumb for exercise in pregnancy is that it is generally good coupled with a dose of common sense.  Most reputable doctors will tell you not to skydive or alligator wrestle whilst with child, even if an ancient Egyptian aristocrat invites you.