The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.
Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.
Exercise is not dangerous for your baby.Research has shown that regular moderate exercise during pregnancy can
Don't exhaust yourself. You may need to slow
down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. If
in doubt, consult your maternity team.
If you weren't active before you got
pregnant, don't suddenly take up strenuous exercise. If you start an aerobic
exercise programme (such as running, swimming, cycling, walking or aerobics
classes), tell the instructor that you're pregnant and begin with no more than
15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times a week. Increase this gradually
to at least four 30-minute sessions a week.
Remember that exercise doesn't have to be
strenuous to be beneficial.
Exercise tips when you're pregnant:
Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic
floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. The pelvic
floor consists of layers of muscles that stretch like a supportive hammock from
the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone.
If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, you
may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain. This is quite
common and you needn't feel embarrassed. It's known as stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy.
You can strengthen the muscles by
doing pelvic floor exercises. This helps to reduce or avoid stress
incontinence after pregnancy. All pregnant women should do pelvic floor
exercises, even if you're young and not suffering from stress incontinence
How to do pelvic floor exercises:
As well as these exercises, practise tightening
up the pelvic floor muscles before and during coughing and sneezing.
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