Yes, current knowledge shows that there is no risk in being physically active during pregnancy if no problems are noted. In fact, it is even recommended to include at least 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week of average intensity exercise.
Physical activity during pregnancy brings several benefits to the physical and psychological health of the mother and her baby. Here are some examples:
- For the mother:
- increase in energy levels
- better quality of sleep
- stress reduction
- decrease in certain pregnancy-related discomforts such as constipation, back pain, feet swelling and shortness of breath;
- For the baby:
- reduced risk of low birth weight
- reduced risk of preterm birth.
Another significant effect is that physical activity could prevent or reduce some pregnancy-related health problems such as gestational diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia (convulsions that are harmful to the baby).
However, if the pregnant woman has health problems (heart disease, restrictive lung disease, extreme obesity, anemia, etc.) or pregnancy-related problems (previous episodes of early labor or low birth-weight baby, blood loss, placenta previa – a placenta that is too low in the uterus -, etc.), it is advisable to see a doctor before doing any type of physical activity.
The different types of physical activity that a pregnant woman can do are presented in the following edition.