Keeping physically active is great for you and for your baby! Experts advise that, in most cases, physical activity is not only safe but also improves the health of both the baby and the mother. Motherhood is the biggest workout of your life, but you can prepare your body for the challenges of pregnancy labour and birth by staying active and keeping yourself strong and healthy. If you weren’t very active before your pregnancy, don’t worry there are lots of small changes you can make to your lifestyle that can make a big difference to you and your baby’s health.
Benefits to you and the baby
- Exercise gives you more energy and makes you feel good. It leaves you feeling less tired and sleep will improve.
- It improves and strengthens muscles resulting in fewer aches and pains. You may also have less chance of getting varicose veins and swollen legs.
- It improves your blood sugar control which in turn could help prevent gestational diabetes.
- It will increase stamina which will help you and your baby through labour.
- It will help with your recovery after birth.
- It means you are less likely to gain unnecessary weight during pregnancy and are less likely to hang onto any extra weight after you have had the baby.
- It can reduce levels of anxiety and depression in pregnancy.
- Being active helps reduce constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem.
- The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain.
At home workouts
- An easy pregnancy workout | Tommys
- Bumps and Burpees (3 simple workouts)
- Prenatal and postnatal yoga video | NHS
- General fitness, strength and yoga videos | This Mum Moves
- Pregnancy and postnatal exercise videos | Best Beginnings
Pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth.
When you're feeling tired, being active may seem like the last thing you want to do. But regular activity can relax you, keep you fit and help you feel more energetic. It can also help your body recover after childbirth and may help prevent postnatal depression.