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Being active during pregnancy

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby

In fact, there is evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

If you have not exercised routinely then you should begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times per week, increasing gradually to daily 30-minute sessions. 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.

However, don't exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if your maternity team advises you to. Always seek their advice!

If you weren't active before you got pregnant, don't suddenly take up strenuous exercise. As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you're probably exercising too strenuously.

Tips for exercising safely whilst pregnant

  • Always warm up beforehand, and cool down afterwards
  • Try to keep active on a daily basis: half an hour of walking each day can be enough, but if you can't manage that, any amount of activity is better than none
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
  • Stay hydrated! Make sure you drink plenty of water and other fluids before and after you exercise
  • If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified, and knows that you're pregnant as well as how many weeks pregnant you are
  • You might like to try swimming because the water will support your increased weight. Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes with qualified instructors. Use our Activity Finder to find support near you.
  • Exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should only be done with caution. Falls may risk damage to the baby

We're here to help! Get in touch with a member of our team today and discuss what we can do to support you.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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