Studies have shown that pregnant women with higher activity levels are more likely to have a “natural” birth without medical intervention. Being active can also help you to stop gaining too much weight during pregnancy, which can help you have a baby with a healthy birth weight.
- Active before pregnancy? Carry on with your usual exercise regime (after checking with your healthcare provider).
- If you weren’t active before you conceived, talk to your healthcare provider about starting gently with a goal of eventually reaching 30 minutes of low-impact activity five days a week. Walking counts, so consider getting off the bus a couple of stops early or swap short drives for walks.
- Continue to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to provide your baby with the nutrition he needs, and to help you gain the right amount of weight while you’re pregnant.
Jiang H, Qian X, Lynn H, Fan Y, Jiang H, He F, He G. Can physical activity reduce excessive gestational weight gain? Findings from a Chinese urban pregnant women cohort study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2012; 9:12. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-12.
Morgan KL, Rahman MA, Hill RA et al. Physical activity and excess weight gain in pregnancy have independent and unique effects on delivery and prenatal outcomes. PLoS One 2014; 9(4):e94532. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094532
Stuebe A, Oken E, Gillman MW. Associations of diet and physical activity during pregnancy with risk for excessive gestational weight gain. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009; 201(1):58.e1-8.doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2009.02.025