Exercise has been widely researched and proven to be beneficial not just for physical health but mental health too. Staying active during pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
Exercise has also been shown to be associated with a shorter and less complicated labour and fewer neonatal complications according to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

It is highly recommended that you seek guidelines and recommendations between your GP/midwife and physiotherapist when exercising with the following conditions:

  • Previous preterm birth
  • Mild/moderate cardiovascular disorder
  • Anaemia
  • Twin pregnancy
  • BMI greater than 30
  • Back or pelvic pain


  • Incompetent cervix
  • Placenta previa after 26 weeks
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Persistent vaginal bleeding in the second and third trimester
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Multiple gestation with risk factors
  • Poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes or thyroid disease
  • Serious cardiovascular or respiratory disorders


  • Exercise 3-4 times per week, if not every day
  • Exercise for 30-60mins totaling 150mins per week
  • At moderate intensity: you should be able to hold a conversation
  • Completing both strength and aerobic exercises


  • Prenatal Pilates
  • Walking
  • Stationary bike cycling
  • Swimming (no higher than 33.4 degrees Celsius)
  • Body weight or light weight strengthening exercises * work with a physiotherapist


  • Laying on your back after the first trimester
  • Contact or collision sports
  • Sudden pressure changes such as scuba diving
  • Exercising in hot environments


  • Chest pain
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Calf pain
  • Sudden swelling in the ankles, hands or face
  • Vaginal bleeding or amniotic fluid loss
  • Decreased fetal movements
  • Uterine contractions or pain in the lower back/pelvic/abdomen

It’s very important that you speak with your GP if you experience any of the above while exercising. If you haven’t been exercising regularly prior to being pregnant you should speak with your GP about beginning exercise. Pregnancy is not the time to start lifting heavy weights or training for a marathon! It is more about remaining active. Working with your GP and physiotherapist can help you exercise safely throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.

Bump Fitness runs prenatal Pilates in Burleigh Heads and Helensvale and are run by physiotherapists with training in Women’s Health who also provide prenatal and postnatal education as part of the classes. Contact us via email or phone info@bumpfitness.com.au or 0422 988 033 to book your spot in one of our classes.


  1. Davenport MH, McCurdy AP, Mottola MF, Skow RJ, Meah VL, Poitras VJ, Garcia AJ, Gray CE, Barrowman N, Riske L, Sobierajski F. Impact of prenatal exercise on both prenatal and postnatal anxiety and depressive symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Nov 1;52(21):1376-85.
  2. Davenport MH, Ruchat SM, Poitras VJ, Garcia AJ, Gray CE, Barrowman N, Skow RJ, Meah VL, Riske L, Sobierajski F, James M. Prenatal exercise for the prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J of Sports Med. 2018;52(21):1367-75. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099355
  3. McGee LD, Cignetti CA, Sutton A, Harper L, Dubose C, Gould S. Exercise During Pregnancy: Obstetricians’ Beliefs and Recommendations Compared to American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ 2015 Guidelines. Cureus. 2018;10(8):e3204. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3204.
  4. Nakamura A, van der Waerden J, Melchior M, Bolze C, El-Khoury F, Pryor L. Physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum depression: Systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affective Disorders. 2019 Mar 1;246:29-41.
  5. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 2021. Exercise During Pregnancy. https://ranzcog.edu.au/womens-health/patient-information-resources/exercise-during-pregnancy