Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Is it safe for me
to exercise during pregnancy?
It's probably safe, but you should check with
your doctor first. Although some questions have been asked about the effects of
exercise on pregnant women, there is no proof that gentle exercise has any bad
effects on pregnancy. Studies haven't shown any benefits for the baby, but
gentle exercise might help you feel better and maintain your weight. If you have
no serious medical problems and you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's
probably safe for you to do some exercising.
How should I start
an exercise program?
It's best to check with your doctor before
starting any exercise program. You may have a medical condition that would make
exercise harmful to you or your baby. If your doctor approves, you can start
exercising at a level that does not cause pain, shortness of breath or excessive
tiredness. You may then slowly increase your activity. If you feel
uncomfortable, short of breath or very tired, you should reduce your exercise
level. If you have already been exercising, it's easier to keep exercising
during pregnancy. If you haven't exercised before, you need to start very
slowly. Many women find that they need to slow down their level of exercise
What types of
exercise are best when I'm pregnant?
The most comfortable exercises are those that
don't require your body to bear extra weight. Swimming and stationary cycling
can be continued throughout pregnancy. Walking and low-impact aerobics are
usually well-tolerated. You and your doctor will need to decide what's best for
you and your baby.
What should I be
Be careful to avoid activities that increase
your risk of falls or injury, such as contact sports or vigorous sports. Even
mild injuries to the "tummy" area can be serious when you're pregnant. After the
first 3 months of pregnancy, it's best to avoid exercising while lying on your
back, since the weight of the baby may interfere with blood circulation. Also
avoid long periods of standing.
When the weather is hot, exercise in the early
morning or late evening to help you avoid getting overheated. If you're
exercising indoors, make sure the room has enough ventilation. Consider using a
fan to help keep yourself cool. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you don't feel
Make sure that you're eating a well-balanced
diet. Normally, pregnancy increases your food requirements by 300 calories a
day, even without exercise.
should I tell my doctor about?
Blood or fluid coming from your vagina
Sudden or severe abdominal or
go on for 30 minutes after you stop exercising
Shortness of breath
Headache that is severe or won't
Dim or blurry vision