Children 0–2 years

Exercise in pregnancy

Most pregnant women will benefit from aerobic and strength conditioning exercises, of moderate intensity, as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy.

As individual needs vary it is really important to discuss plans for exercise with your doctor when attending your regular pregnancy checkups.

The benefits of exercise

A good fitness level can be achieved and/or maintained throughout pregnancy which can assist the physiological reserves of the mother and baby without affecting growth rates. Additional pelvic floor exercises may also help to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence before and after the infants delivery.

Recommended activities

Activities that focus on the use of large muscle groups in a continuous rhythmic manner are thought to have lower associated risk. Some suitable aerobic based activities are:

  • Walking
  • Jogging, running
  • Aerobic dance
  • Swimming/Aquacise
  • Cycling
  • Rowing

Energy requirements

Additional energy is required during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. Energy requirements should be considered on an individual basis, taking into consideration the amount of exercise undertaken.

Some breastfeeding mothers are afraid that exercise may reduce the quantity and quality of breast milk produced however this is less likely if adequate nutrition is provided.

If you have any concerns regarding the nutritional adequacy of your diet during pregnancy or lactation, contact us today.

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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