Pre-exercise warnings

Please read the information on this page carefully before you undertake your pregnancy exercise programme. If you have any doubts, speak to your doctor.

Is your pregnancy ‘low risk / uncomplicated’?…..

From Summary of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 2002.

You should not exercise if you have:

  • Hemodynamically significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix/cerclage
  • Multiple gestation at risk for premature labour
  • Persistent second- or third-trimester bleeding
  • Placenta previa after 26 weeks of gestation
  • Premature labour during the current pregnancy
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Preeclampsia/pregnancy-induced hypertension

You should also talk to your doctor or midwife before undertaking an exercise programme if you have any of the following:

  • Severe anemia
  • Unevaluated maternal cardiac arrhythmia
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes
  • Extreme morbid obesity
  • Extreme underweight (BMI < 12)
  • History of extremely sedentary lifestyle
  • Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Orthopedic limitations
  • Poorly controlled seizure disorder
  • Poorly controlled hyperthyroidism
  • Heavy smoker

When you should stop exercising

From Summary of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 2002.

If you experience any of the following symptoms you should stop exercising and seek medical advice:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dyspnea prior to exertion (Out of Breath, prior to exercise)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling (DVT must be ruled out)
  • Preterm labour
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Amniotic fluid leakage

Bear in mind that these symptoms and very rare and if you do experience them are unlikely to be due to your exercise. All the evidence suggests that sensible exercise in pregnancy is very safe and very beneficial.