Fitness: Exercise During Pregnancy (cont.)

To summarize, exercise is safe, and even encouraged, during pregnancy, as long as the exercise is sensible and the above precautions are heeded. In fact, there are studies to suggest that exercise might even have a beneficial effect on pregnancy outcomes, including shorter labors, fewer abdominal deliveries, less discomfort during the pregnancy, and a decrease in perceived exertion during labor. I recommend that you speak with your doctor before starting to exercise, and if you already exercise, check with your doctor about how to continue through to your delivery. I also recommend the book Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp, MD, as an excellent resource. Enjoy your workouts!

Take care, and thank you for your question.

REFERENCES: Carpenter, M. W., et al. "Fetal heart rate response to maternal exertion." JAMA 259 (1988): 3006-9.

Clapp, J. F. "The changing thermal response to endurance exercise during pregnancy." Am J Obstet Gynecol 165 (1991): 1684-9.

Clapp, J. F. 3d. "The course of labor after endurance exercise during pregnancy." Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990.

Clark, S. L., et al. "Position change and central hemodynamic profile during normal third-trimester pregnancy and post partum." Am J Obstet Gynecol 164 (1991): 883-7.

http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr05-10-05-2.cfm Oct. 27, 2007.

http://sogc.medical.org/guidelines/public/129E-JCPG-June2003.pdf.

http://www.aafp.org/afp/980415ap/980415d.html Oct. 27, 2007.

Rice, P. L., et al. "The relationship of maternal exercise on labor, delivery and health of the newborn." J Sports Med Phys Fitness 31 (1991): 95-99.

Sternfeld, B., et al. "Exercise during pregnancy and pregnancy outcome." Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995: 634-640.

Watson, W. J. "Fetal responses to maximal swimming and cycling exercise during pregnancy." Obstet Gynecol 77 (1991): 382-386.


Last Editorial Review: 8/30/2012


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