Lifestyle during pregnancy

Exercise

It's important to keep as fit as you can during pregnancy as this enables you to cope with your changing body shape and subsequent weight gain over the 9 months.

Exercise is not dangerous to your baby and you can maintain your daily exercise routines for as long as you feel comfortable.

Top exercise tips:

  • Don't exhaust yourself.
  • Exercise does not have to be too taxing; half an hour of daily walking can be enough.
  • Always warm up before and cool down afterwards.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of water/fluids (around 2-3 litres a day).
  • Exercise classes? Ensure your instructor is properly qualified and knows you're pregnant.
  • Swimming or exercise in water can support increased weight and is less stressful for joints.
  • Avoid exercise that hold risk of falling (skiing, horse riding etc).
  • Pelvic floor exercises are important and should be practiced by all women; especially those who are pregnant.

Download the Pelvic floor exercises guide for women

Exercises to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Don't lie flat on your back after 20 weeks as this can cause you to feel faint.
  • Avoid contact sports (squash, judo etc).
  • Don't scuba dive due to risk of decompression sickness and gas embolism.
  • Don't exercise at altitude unless you have acclimatised.

Diet

Eating healthily during pregnancy helps your baby develop and grow. You do not need to start any special diets, just eat a variety of foods daily to get the nutrient balance right.

Supplements are recommended as it's difficult to achieve optimum vitamins and minerals through diet alone.

Download the Do's and don'ts of diet during pregnancy

Vaccinations

Two vaccines are specifically recommended for pregnant women:

  • Flu (influenza) vaccine, which should be given during the first or second trimester of pregnancy during the winter months.
  • Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccine, from 20 weeks of gestation onwards to protect the baby from whooping cough. Whopping Cough Information Sheet