Activate ReciteMe accessibility assistance Download this page Print this page

Being Active in Pregnancy

Being active is an important part of keeping well physically and mentally. 

During pregnancy being active can help you prepare and cope with the pressures of labour and the early days of parenthood.

Activity is really good for improving mood and can help you with some of the physical pregnancy related conditions like constipation and back pain too.

You might always have been an active person or finding out you are having a baby might be the time you decide to include more exercise in your life. Being active benefits you and your unborn baby. These good habits are going to be positive for the whole family’s wellbeing for the future too.

  • It is a good idea to discuss exercise with your midwife at your booking appointment.

    If you have always been an active person most pregnant women can continue with the activity they enjoy. Your midwife will be able to reassure you about this. They can give individual advice about any health conditions that might be affected by some types of exercise.

    Pregnant women should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise across the week. So about 30 minutes 5 x a week – or you might decide to do it in shorter bursts.

    Moderate aerobic exercise means;

    • Your heart beats a bit faster and you might get a bit sweaty.
    • You can still talk ok but wouldn’t be able to sing.

    If you were already taking this much exercise, or more, before you got pregnant then you can usually carry on.

    • Be aware of your body and how it is coping. You might need to adapt and change how you exercise as your bump grows.
    • Take care to warm up and cool down before exercise – this reduces the chances of injury – cooling down afterwards is also important for allowing your heart rate to return to normal.

    If you are new to exercise you should take it slowly and build up to the advised amount.

    • Gradually increase how long and how often you exercise.
    • Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. You are taking an important step towards good health and there is no rush.

    Exercising with your partner and / or friends can be a good idea. You can get fit together. They can encourage you and help you notice when you need a break.

    *Click here* to access exercise videos and advice that are especially for pregnancy and post birth.

  • Most kinds of exercise can continue throughout pregnancy. It is important that you choose activity you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot.

    • Walking is a great free exercise – walking a bit faster to the shop and back can easily add up to the advised 150 minutes.
    • Doing the housework or dancing round the kitchen all count!
    • Exercise in water is good during pregnancy. It supports your weight and reduces the risk of aches and strains.
    • Yoga and Pilates are good ways of building fitness gently. They are good for posture and the core strength especially important in pregnancy.

    Most kinds of activity can still be enjoyed in pregnancy. If you have any concerns or questions about this speak to the team who care for you for advice.

    There are a few  activities that are not advised these include;

    • Contact sports such as martial arts or rugby (although you could still do the training even if you have to miss matches).
    • Sports using rackets / bats where the ball will travel at high speed.
    • Sports where you risk a fall like horse riding, or skiing.
    • You should not scuba dive or climb to high altitudes.

    If you go to a gym or exercise class you should always let the instructor know you are pregnant.

    You should not do exercise flat on your back after 16 weeks pregnant this can obstruct some blood vessels and reduce blood flow for you and your baby.

Who can Help?

If you feel worried and want more advice you can speak to your midwife.

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.

Other Useful Pages

Log In / Create an account

  • RT @FISnorfolk: If you are looking for some lockdown learning ideas/resources * Watch primary #BBCBitesizeDaily & more on @cbbc from 9am *… NorfolkCYP / 15 January 2021
  • If you are working with a family in #Norfolk who are in need of health advice and support, please share with them t… NorfolkCYP / 15 January 2021
  • RT @NorfolkCC: Parent or carer? Join our online session tomorrow 4-5pm for advice & support including early years, community support, makin… NorfolkCYP / 13 January 2021
  • RT @NorfolkCC: If you're a parent with a child due to start primary school this September remember that you have until this Friday to regis… NorfolkCYP / 13 January 2021
  • RT @PHE_EoEngland: The coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The NHS is current… NorfolkCYP / 13 January 2021
  • RT @DHSCgovuk: During the national lockdown, you can still leave home to get a #COVID19 test. If you have any coronavirus symptoms, book a… NorfolkCYP / 13 January 2021
  • RT @NorfolkLibs: Was one of your New Year Resolutions to become healthier? Take a look at the great range of Ebooks available to download F… NorfolkCYP / 13 January 2021
  • To help Norfolk Professionals promote the new All Babies Cry campaign, we have put together a range of resources in… NorfolkCYP / 12 January 2021
  • RT @FISnorfolk: #BigGardenBirdWatch registration is now OPEN! Don't forget to register your family for the #biggardenbirdwatch - a project… NorfolkCYP / 08 January 2021
  • Planned appointments are still going ahead as scheduled for families. We will contact families directly if we need… NorfolkCYP / 08 January 2021

Our Partners

Close the mobile menu