Exercise Recommendations For Pregnancy
recommendations developed by the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG) are for women who do not have additional
risk factors for adverse maternal or perinatal outcomes.
Exercise Guidelines For Pregnancy
pregnancy, women can continue to exercise and derive health
benefits even from mild-to-moderate exercise routines. Regular
exercise (at least three times per week) is preferable to
the first trimester, women should avoid exercise in the
supine position (on the back). This position is associated
with decreased cardiac output. Prolonged periods of motionless
standing should also be avoided.
oxygen availability is decreased during exercise, women
should be encouraged to modify the intensity of exercise
according to maternal symptoms. She should stop exercising
when fatigued and not exercise to exhaustion. Weight-bearing
exercises may be continued under many circumstances with
some modifications. Non-weight bearing exercises such as
swimming or cycling will help minimize the risk of injury
and facilitate the continuation of exercise during pregnancy.
exercise which involves a potential threat of abdominal
trauma or loss of balance and risk to mother or infant should
pregnancy requires an additional 300 calories per day, exercising
women should make sure they are eating adequately.
hydration, appropriate clothing, and optimal environmental
surroundings are extremely important for body temperature
regulation during exercise.
of the physical changes during pregnancy persist 4-6 weeks
after delivery so pre-pregnancy exercise routines should
be resumed gradually based on a woman's physical capability.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Technical
begin aerobic exercise slowly and gradually build the intensity
over a 5 to 10 minute period. Once you have completed the "Warm
Up" period of aerobic exercise and you have a rhythm established
for your workout, use the Perceived
Exertion scale to evaluate your exercise intensity. Do not suddenly
stop aerobic exercise. After your workout time is over, gradually
slow down your speed, allowing your heart rate to return to a lower
level before stopping.
you have any of the following symptoms, stop exercising immediately
and call your doctor.
Warning Signs Of Problems During Exercise
- Vaginal bleeding
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Increased shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty walking
to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists there are specific
conditions which may limit or restrict you from vigorous exercise. If
you have any of the following conditions, discuss it with your health
care provider before exercising.
When to Avoid Exercise During Pregnancy
rupture of membranes or placenta previa
labor during current or previous pregnancy
high blood pressure
bleeding during second or third trimester
- A history
of high blood pressure, miscarriage, cardiac, vascular,
pulmonary, or thyroid disease
growth retardation (slowed growth of fetus) during current
or previous pregnancy
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Technical Bulletin 1994:189.