It’s important to stay active during your pregnancy. Being active and healthy helps both you and your baby. It also helps to prepare your body for the birth.
Before you start any activity
Talk to your midwife (or specialist doctor) before you start any new activity to make sure that the exercise you do won’t harm you or your baby.
Being active for 30 minutes each day can help you to avoid gaining too much weight, strengthen your heart and lungs and give you the extra energy and strength needed for the birth.
Choose activities you enjoy that match your level of fitness. If you have never exercised before, talk to your midwife (or specialist doctor) first and look for gentle activities that you could do. You could go for a fast walk, swim, aqua-jog or do any activity that is comfortable for you and leaves you with enough breath to talk as you exercise.
Wear a good support bra, loose clothing and shoes that support your feet. Take breaks for a drink, food and a rest if you need to. Be careful in hot weather – stay inside or don’t exercise at all. It’s probably best to exercise at a moderate or mild level and there are some exercises that are best avoided.
To find out more, see the Exercise Guidelines from National Women’s Health.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises
Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, uterus (womb) and bowel. They often become weaker during pregnancy and childbirth, so some women wet their pants when they sneeze, cough or exercise. There are exercises you can do to strengthen these muscles and help prevent your wetting your pants. Stronger pelvic floor muscles can make sex better too!