Be a fit mum-to-be

Find out which exercise is good during pregnancy, and what to avoid, with fitness guru Melinda Nicci.

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Your keep fit queries answered by Melinda Nicci, Prima Baby’s pre- and postnatal fitness consultant

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How often should I exercise?

Exercising at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes, six times a week. That could include a moderately paced walk.

What exercises can I do?

If your body is used to a certain sport, there’s no reason to stop now. So for all those keen runners, being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to hang up your trainers. Other exercises to try include swimming, antenatal yoga and gym workouts – but make sure you get advice on what’s safe from a trainer.

Are there any sports I should avoid?

Steer clear of contact sports such as hockey or netball as there’s a risk of injury. Squash is risky due to all the rapid twisting and turning and avoid cycling or horse-riding in your third trimester as a fall could be dangerous.

When should I stop?

If you suffer from acute headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations or severe swelling in your hands and feet, stop immediately and seek medical advice. Healthy mums-to-be can exercise right up until the last day of pregnancy.

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Why should I bother?

Exercise optimises the amount of oxygen going to the placenta and removes harmful toxins. Being fit improves stamina which will also help in labour. You’re also more likely to have a faster recovery, too.

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