pregnancy exercise contra-indications

Pregnancy Exercise Contra-Indications

Any exercise carries with it an element of risk. Your doctor or health care provider should be consulted before commencing an exercise or nutritional programme, especially during pregnancy or the postnatal period

Absolute Contra-Indications to pregnancy exercise:

  • Significant heart disease
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Multiple gestation with premature labour risk
  • Persistent 2nd or 3rd trimester bleeding
  • Placenta Previa after 26 weeks
  • Current premature labour
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Preeclampsia/pregnancy induced hypertension  


Relative Contra-Indications to pregnancy exercise:

  • Severe Anaemia
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Poorly controlled type 1 diabetes
  • Extreme Morbid obesity
  • Extreme Underweight (BMI <12)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Intrauterine growth restriction in current pregnancy
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Orthopaedic limitations
  • Poorly controlled seizure disorder
  • Poorly controlled hyperthyroidism
  • Heavy Smoker

If none of the contra-indications apply to you then you're ok to start exercising, but you still need to be aware of potential risks. You must stop exercising immediately if you experience:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dyspnea prior to exertion (Out of Breath, prior to exercise)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling (DVT must be ruled out)
  • Preterm labour
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Amniotic fluid leakage

Ref: American College Of Gynaecologists (ACOG) 2002