Exercise during pregnancy
What physical activity is considered safe during pregnancy? Jacque Gerrard offers key advice from a midwife's point of view
Exercise during pregnancy is safe for women and their unborn babies It is essential that midwives advise women of the UK chief medical officer's ([CMO], 2019) physical activity guidance and support them during pregnancy to be physically active and to exercise safely.
It has been a long-standing myth that pregnant women should take it easy when pregnant and refrain from exercise altogether. This is bound in fear of harming themselves or their baby. There is some evidence that moderate intensity physical activity will not harm the woman or her unborn baby (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2010).
Midwives, as the lead professionals for low-risk women, should encourage women to be physically active during pregnancy and incorporate activity discussions as part of the antenatal care pathway. The CMO's advice is that women should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week and this should continue in the postpartum period as soon as they are able.
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