The amazing team at Fitmom Durham was kind enough to share some of their tips for exercising during pregnancy. They provide a variety of in-person and online classes for people on their pregnancy and parenting journey. You can check out all their options here.

Congratulations! You’re pregnant.

This is an exciting and exhilarating time for you and your family, but can often feel overwhelming as you sift through information, research and tips to help you maintain a healthy and optimal pregnancy.

More often than not pregnant people & birthers find themselves questioning the benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Is it safe? What’s recommended? What will help transition your ever changing body smoothly?

You may be surprised to find out that exercise is not only encouraged by most health care practitioners, but recommended for low-risk pregnancies. . Certainly, there are times during pregnancy and preconception when exercise is not recommended, but for 80% of the pregnant population exercise is ‘just what the doctor ordered’.

Read on to find some fantastic facts about how exercise can positively benefit both you and your baby!


1.Babies of exercising people are found to have a greater blood volume. Increased blood volume = more oxygen. Research shows that these babies can tolerate labour better, which decreases a risk of caesarean section, vacuum, or forceps delivery.

2.People who are physically fit will also endure labour better. In addition, fit pregnant people have an increased release of beta-endorphins during their labour which will decrease their experience of pain.

3.A study out of New York’s Columbia University has shown that being active may reduce your risk of miscarriage by 40%.

4.Exercising may help in the prevention of gestational diabetes. In cases of diagnosed gestational diabetes, exercise may be an essential part of treatment with physician’s recommendations.

5.Muscular imbalances resulting from pregnancy are addressed and minimized with regular exercise. Pregnant folks who exercise generally have better posture and less discomfort.

6.Prenatal exercise helps you adapt to the physiological changes associated with pregnancy. It is this training effect that marks an increased ability to maintain pre-pregnancy fitness level.

7.Research has also noted lower incidences of preeclampsia in pregnant who exercise. This is likely also due to the training effect lowering oxidative stress as exercise helps the mom-to-be adapt to the physiological changes that pregnancy demands.

8.Babies of exercising people tend to score higher on their APGAR Scores (Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration). Tests are done at one minute and five minutes after delivery to asses physiological signs of health in your new-born.

9.Babies born to exercising birthers are found to weigh more. This is attributed to healthier body compositions of increases lean muscle mass and lower body fat. Studies performed at five years on the same test groups showed body compositions of lower body fat and higher lean muscle mass consistent with their birth weight composition. In contrast, the babies of non-exercising birthers had a higher likelihood of non-favourable body compositions or childhood obesity. “An early introduction of a moderate-intensity regimen of weight-bearing exercise during pregnancy may have preventative value in individuals or populations at risk of having low birth weight babies.” Source: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2000), 183: 1484-1488.

10.Individuals who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to continue and return to their previous routine and level of fitness with less effort and time. Studies on exercise and depression indicate that exercise provides an anti-depressive effect. Exercise has been recognized in helping people struggling with postpartum depression.

FITMOM promotes and recognizes the many benefits of exercise during pregnancy and recognizes the importance of physicians, obstetrician, or midwives in each persons pregnancy. Remember to always consult with your caregiver before proceeding with any exercise program, pregnant or otherwise.