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Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health YouTube Channel.
Healthy pregnant women without exercise contraindications are encouraged to exercise while pregnant. Regular
exercise while pregnant may help control gestational weight gain, improve wellbeing and mood, and may play a
role in the prevention of pregnancy-related complications.
Margie Davenport was the Chair of the Guideline Consensus Panel which developed the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada/Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy. This new Guideline was developed on an extensive review of the literature culminating in the Guideline and 12 systematic reviews recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine .
SOGC/CSEP 2019 Guideline for phyiscal activity throughout pregnancy
Methodology for the SOGC/CSEP 2019 Guideline for phyiscal activity throughout pregnancy
Prior to starting an exercise program, all pregnant women are advised to talk with their health care
The PARmed-X for Pregnancy was developed as a screening tool for pregnant women who wish to exercise.
PARmed-X for Pregnancy (PDF)
Alberta Health Services - Healthy Parents Healthy Children
The North American Society of Obstetric Medicine.
The MotHERS Program.
Contraindications to Prenatal Exercise
Absolute Contraindications to Aerobic Exercise During Pregnancy
- Ruptured membranes
- Premature labour.
- Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding.
- Placenta praevia after 28 weeks’ gestation.
- Incompetent cervix.
- Intrauterine growth restriction.
- High-order multiple pregnancy (eg, triplets)
- Uncontrolled type 1 diabetes.
- Uncontrolled hypertension.
- Uncontrolled thyroid disease.
- Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder.
Relative Contraindications to Aerobic Exercise During Pregnancy
- Recurrent pregnancy loss.
- Gestational hypertension.
- A history of spontaneous preterm birth.
- Mild/moderate cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
- Symptomatic anaemia.
- Eating disorder.
- Twin pregnancy after the 28th week.
- Other significant medical conditions.
Reasons to Stop Exercise and Consult Your Health Care Provider
- Persistent excessive shortness of breath that does not resolve on rest.
- Severe chest pain.
- Regular and painful uterine contractions.
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Persistent loss of fluid from the vagina indicating rupture of the membranes.
- Persistent dizziness or faintness that does not resolve on rest.
General Precautions for Prenatal Exercise
- Avoid physical activity in excessive heat, especially with high humidity.
- Avoid activities which involve physical contact or danger of falling.
- Avoid scuba diving.
- Lowlander women (ie, living below 2500 m) should avoid physical activity at high altitude (>2500 m). Those considering physical activity above those altitudes should seek supervision from an obstetric care provider with knowledge of the impact of high altitude on maternal and fetal outcomes.
- Those considering athletic competition or exercising significantly above the recommended guidelines should seek supervision from an obstetric care provider with knowledge of the impact of high-intensity physical activity on maternal and fetal outcomes.
- Maintain adequate nutrition and hydration—drink water before, during and after physical activity.