“Despite what we have said over the last 10 years, pregnant women are still afraid exercise is going to hurt their child,” says researcher Melissa J. Hague, MD, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.
In her study of 90 women, she found many regular exercisers stopped working out when they became pregnant. Some told her they did not think exercising, even walking, was safe during pregnancy.
“I was really surprised,” she tells WebMD.
Hague presented her findings this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in San Diego.
Exercise During Pregnancy: Expert Opinion
In 2002, ACOG issued an opinion about exercise during pregnancy. Recreational and competitive athletes without pregnancy complications can remain active with their doctor’s OK, it says. They should modify their workouts as medically indicated.
Inactive women should consult their doctors before starting a program, it says.
Moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more most or all days of the week appears safe for pregnant women without complications, it says. Activities with a high risk of falling, contact sports, and scuba diving should not be done