We are here to help you find the right information to help you move a little more during and after your pregnancy. If you've got a specific question take a look at our FAQs section to hopefully find your answer there.
This page will provide advice on physical activity and ways to move more during pregnancy or after your little one has arrived.
New or Expectant Mum?
If you are pregnant or have recently had your baby, head over to the Active Mums Club for advice, information and, sessions and myth busting around physical activity for you
Activity Advice During Pregnancy
Being active throughout your pregnancy has many benefits. It can help to reduce blood pressure, help prevent pregnancy Are you pregnant and need some advice? Now you're pregnant, being active will boost your health – it's good for your unborn baby, too. It can also help get your body ready for giving birth and being a new mum.
Aim to be active for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. Moderate intensity means your heart rate increases, but you can still hold a conversation. Aim for strength and balance exercise on 2 days a week.
It's safe to be active - there is no evidence of harm for pregnant women or their babies.
Your activity levels during pregnancy should reflect your activity pre-pregnancy. If currently inactive, try starting gradually with low impact and low intensity activities. Always listen to your body and adapt activities accordingly.
Don't bump the bump
Take a look at the Physical Activity for Pregnant Women Leaflet for more ideas and tips!
Physical Activity For Pregnant Women
Activity Advice after Giving Birth
Have you given birth and need some advice? If you've had a straightforward birth, you may start gentle activity as soon as you feel up to it, e.g. walking, gentle stretches, pelvic floor exercises and deep stomach exercises. After the 6-8 week postnatal check and depending on how you feel, moderate intensity activities can gradually resume over a minimum period of at least 3 months. After this, and in the absence of any issues, more intense activities can resume such as running.
Post-natal women should aim to be active for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. Moderate intensity means your heart rate increases, but you can still hold a conversation. Aim for strength and balance exercise on 2 days a week.
Being active after childbirth can help:
- Improve overall fitness
- Improve muscle tone and strength
- To boost energy
- Me time! Reduce anxiety and depression
Every movement matters
Take a look at the Physical Activity for Women after Childbirth Leaflet for more ideas and tips!
Physical Activity For Women After Childbirth
Frequently asked questions
Why is being active during pregnancy important?
Being active throughout your pregnancy has many benefits.
- Help to reduce blood pressure
- Help in controlling weight gain
- Improved sleep
- Help in preventing diabetes of pregnancy
- Improved fitness Improved mood
How much physical activity should I be doing during pregnancy?
Try and be as active as you can everyday but listen to your body. Any movement will help but activities that get you slightly out of breath (able to speak not sing) will provide the biggest health benefits.
Include strength and balance activities e.g. walking uphill, taking the stairs, carrying shopping bags, and pregnancy yoga. These will help your body to cope with carrying extra weight and prepare you for childbirth.
What's the best way to keep active during pregnancy?
Whatever works for you! Any activity that makes you breathe a little faster will be of benefit. Some of the most suitable activities include:
- Indoor cycling
- Water based activities (avoid breaststroke swimming)
- Pregnancy Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates
Don't worry if these activities seem too much. All movement matters so perhaps think about how you could move more as part of your daily routine, such as:
- Using the stairs more frequently
- Park the car slightly further away from your destination
- Set an hourly movement alarm to break up sitting
- Be active in the ad breaks
Listen to your body and adapt. If it feels pleasant keep going, if it is uncomfortable stop and seek advice.
Are there any activities I should avoid during pregnancy?
Avoid any activity with high risk of injury through physical contact or falling/trauma. Remember not to bump the bump. Whatever you decide, listen to your body. Activity should cease if you feel any sharp pains or significant discomfort.
Is it safe to exercise after giving birth?
Yes. If you've had an uncomplicated birth, gentle activity may resume as soon as you feel up to it, e.g. walking, gentle stretches, pelvic floor exercises.
After the 6-8 week postnatal check and depending on how you feel, moderate intensity activities can gradually resume over a minimum period of at least 3 months.
In the absence of any issues beyond 3 months, more intense activities can resume including running.
Why is being active after giving birth important?
Being active after childbirth:
- Can boost your mood, reduce worry and depression
- Improves physical fitness
- Helps to manage your weight
- Can strengthen your tummy muscles
- Supports great sleep
The Legal Bit
You're performing the exercises linked from our website at your own risk.
Whilst every effort has been made to verify the information on the Active Pregnancy pages, Active Together is not responsible for the accuracy or content of external websites. Whilst taking part in physical activity, participants should ensure they take part at a level which is appropriate to them and their health and are responsible for ensuring they check the credentials and health and safety requirements for each activity. It is recommended that participants follow the Chief Medical Officers Guidelines for physical activity. Participants will choose to utilise these links and take part in activities at their own risk.