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Considerations for Exercise in Pregnancy: An overview of safe and beneficial pre-natal training.

Updated: Jun 16


GUIDELINES


'Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength and conditioning exercises before, during, and after pregnancy.
The 2018 update to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans reinforces prior recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week during pregnancy and the postpartum period.' (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2020)


'The guidelines advise that women who habitually engaged in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Pregnant women who were sedentary before pregnancy should follow a more gradual progression of exercise.' (ACOG, 2020)

'Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits. The findings of the systematic reviews also demonstrated that combining aerobic exercise and resistance training during pregnancy was more effective at improving health outcomes than interventions focused on aerobic exercise alone.'
(Canadian Guidelines, 2019)

BENEFITS OF EXERCISE


Higher incidence of vaginal delivery.


Lower incidence of:

  • Excessive gestational weight gain

  • Gestational diabetes mellitus

  • Gestational hypertensive disorders

  • Preterm birth Cesarean birth

  • Lower birth weight

(ACOG, 2020)


'According to the subgroup analysis, a higher rate of normal delivery and lower rate of cesarean delivery were observed in the intervention group when exercise was performed during the second and third trimesters.' (Poyatos-León, 2015)

'Dose–response relationship between increasing intensities of physical activity and decreasing odds of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and a reduction in depressive symptoms and circulating maternal blood glucose.' (C