Being active during pregnancy has many benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. These include improving your sleep, improving your mood, helping to prevent diabetes of pregnancy and high blood pressure problems, and helping to support healthy weight gain. Staying active throughout your pregnancy will also give you the best chance of a good recovery, whatever happens during your labour.
If you're new to activity, start gradually and build up your activity levels over time, eventually aiming for 150 minutes of physical activity at a moderate intensity, spread throughout the week. You don't need to do it in big chunks - every active minute counts! Activities can include walking, exercise classes, taking the stairs, swimming, gardening and housework or any activity that makes you breathe faster whilst still being able to hold a conversation.
Try to also include strength and balance activities twice per week e.g. walking uphill, taking the stairs, carrying shopping bags, and pregnancy yoga. This will also make your joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache and generally help you feel well.
Drawing your baby towards your spine with your tummy muscles can help you carry the weight of pregnancy.
Being active is not dangerous for your baby. If it feels comfortable keep going, if it is uncomfortable stop and seek advice.
Listen to your body and adapt activities where you need to. You should stop and see your Midwife, GP or healthcare professional if you experience any bleeding, persistent excessive shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, incontinence, muscle weakness affecting balance, or anything else you are not sure about.
Remember not to bump your bump – so avoid activities with an increased risk of injury through physical contact or falling such as activities like horse riding, surfing, boxing, football, and basketball.
Resources to help you stay safe and healthy during your pregnancy
Get Active Questionnaire for Pregnancy
This questionnaire is to help decide whether you should speak to a healthcare professional before you begin or continue to be physically active.
A series of guides covering a range of specific activities including running, dancing, resistance training and many more including guidance on how to make adaptations to keep you and your baby safe.
Walking is a great activity to incorporate during your pregnancy and beyond.
A 12-week programme to help you increase the amount of walking you do each week by recording the number of steps you take each day.
A 6 week online programme delivered by a team of specially qualified instructors, specialising in prenatal exercise, to support you to be active throughout your pregnancy.
The Active 10 app supports people to track the amount of brisk walking they do each week Within the app, users have the ability to set their own personal goals as well as reminders to help keep them on track each day.
This Mum Moves - Active at Home
A library of pregnancy and postnatal workout videos, including yoga, Pilates and strength training – all reviewed by experts. Search for something to suit you based on pregnancy stage, duration and activity type.